Two suspected Al-Qaeda fighters were killed in clashes with Yemeni troops in the restive southern province of Abyan, a local official said on Sunday. The clashes flared on Saturday night in the provincial capital Zinjibar, where troops have been battling militants for nearly eight months to regain control of territory lost to the extremist group last May.
In a separate incident Sunday in the nearby town of Loder, an unexploded ordnance accidentally detonated, killing a little boy and wounding his father and two sisters, according to a relative. The family had just returned from Zinjibar, on a quick trip to gather some personal belongings from their home which they fled last year due to ongoing clashes between Al-Qaeda militants and government troops.
According to the relative, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, the child had unintentionally picked up the explosive device from his abandoned home in Zinjibar, and packed it with the family belongings. It exploded after the family arrived in Loder.
Al-Qaeda and its local affiliates, known as the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), who already have a strong presence in southern and eastern provinces, on January 15 overran Rada, a town just 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of Sanaa.