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Clashes in South Yemen Kill 12 Militants, 2 Soldiers

Anti-government protestors shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Taiz, Yemen, Sunday, June 19, 2011.

Military officials in Yemen say clashes have killed 12 al-Qaida-linked militants and at least two Yemeni soldiers in the south, where insurgents have launched several attacks during the country's political unrest.

Authorities say Sunday's clashes occurred outside the city of Zinjibar, the capital of the al-Qaida stronghold, Abyan province.

Militants seized Zinjibar and another southern city in May. Most of Zinjibar's population has fled to the port of Aden to escape the violence.

On Thursday, Yemen's Defense Ministry said "terrorists" killed two people after firing mortar rounds in the flashpoint city.

Armed militants last week also renewed attacks against government buildings near the southern Yemeni town of Houta.

Residents said the attackers briefly took over a security headquarters and council offices in Masameer, which is close to Houta, before retreating.

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