Five Islamist militants killed in south Yemen

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2012 2:26 PM
Five Islamist militants killed in south Yemen
ADEN (Reuters) - Yemen's army killed at least five al Qaeda-linked militants in Abyan province on Wednesday as it continues a U.S.-backed offensive to suppress Islamist militancy in the south, a military official said.The Ministry of Defense said in a text message that some of the dead militants had been senior military leaders of Ansar al-Sharia, which has close links to the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).Earlier in the day, a Yemeni aid worker for the International Committee of the Red Cross was killed by an air strike in the province while carrying out humanitarian work, the agency said.A local official told Reuters on Wednesday that the ICRC worker had been killed in a strike by the Yemeni air force.Yemen is several weeks into a U.S.-backed offensive against militants who seized territory in the south last year during an uprising that forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office in February in a power transfer brokered by Saudi Arabia and blessed by Washington, has sworn to stamp out AQAP, which has plotted attacks abroad.(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Kevin Liffey)