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4 Killed in Clashes Between Yemeni Soldiers, Militants

4 Killed in Clashes Between Yemeni Soldiers, Militants

At least four Yemeni soldiers have been killed in clashes with suspected al-Qaida militants in the country's south.

Military officials say the soldiers were killed on Tuesday after fighting broke out near Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province.

The army launched an offensive to oust Islamic militants in the region several months ago. Militants appear to have increased their strongholds in Yemen as the government deals with political turmoil.

Anti-government activists have continued calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation. The president remains in Saudi Arabia, recovering from injuries sustained in a June attack on his presidential compound.

On Monday, witnesses said seven civilians were killed after a Yemeni warplane bombed a mosque the southern city of Jaar.

An official told the French news agency, AFP, the airstrike was an error and the intended target was a nearby mosque that had been overrun by suspected al-Qaida insurgents.

Militants took control of Jaar in April. They have a strong presence in the region, which has seen frequent battles between Yemeni security forces and al-Qaida insurgents.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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