World Bulletin / News Desk
Two U.S. drone attacks killed at least 10 suspected fighters in Yemen on Saturday, while Yemeni government forces killed 15 others in a new offensive against insurgents, local and military officials said.
Two air strikes destroyed three vehicles and killed 10 fighters in the eastern oil-producing Maarib province and near the border of the southeastern Shabwa province, the Defence Ministry website said, without elaborating, Reuters news agency reported.
Yemen and Washington do not acknowledge U.S. drone attacks.
Local officials told Reuters the strikes were believed to have been carried out by U.S. drones and up to 12 fighters were killed, including an Egyptian and two Saudis.
Residents said Yemeni air force planes dropped leaflets on Saturday urging civilians to leave areas controlled by fighters targeted by the army offensive, prompting a mass exodus from parts of Abyan.
Fifteen insurgents as well as five soldiers and an army officer were killed in fighting on Saturday, a military official who did not want to be identified told Reuters.
"A force of about 20,000 men is taking part in this offensive, ordered by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to free the cities of Zinjibar and Jaar," he said. Navy units would also be used in operations along Abyan's coast on the Gulf of Aden.
In March, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR warned that Yemen was facing a new wave of internal displacement as tens of thousands of civilians fled tribal clashes in the north and fighting with fighters in the south.
Hadi, who had been Saleh's vice-president, was elected unopposed in February under a U.S.-backed power transition plan brokered by Yemen's Gulf neighbours to end the political turmoil.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2012, 11:02