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7 Militants Killed in Yemen's Restive South

Yemeni officials say government troops killed seven suspected al-Qaida militants in the country's restive south Sunday.

The officials said the seven were killed in the town of Loder in southern Abyan province, where 11 soldiers and seven other suspected al-Qaida militants died in clashes Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday, the government urged security forces in six provinces to tighten security measures. It also called for increased vigilance and said a massive manhunt was under way for suspects linked to the violence.

South Yemen is feared to have become a base for al-Qaida's local branch, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Earlier this month, al-Qaida threatened to target anyone who supports Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh or what it called the "crusader campaign" by the United States.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.