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Yemen Bomb Kills 2 Soldiers Fighting Al-Qaida

Yemeni Army forces move into the southern city of Zinjibar, Yemen after freeing it from the hands of al-Qaida-linked militants, September 10, 2011.

Yemeni officials say a roadside bomb has killed two Yemeni soldiers in the southern city of Zinjibar, where government forces have been fighting to oust al-Qaida-linked militants who seized control of the port in May.

The officials say the bomb exploded Sunday in eastern Zinjibar. The blast also wounded four Yemeni soldiers. A day earlier, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared a "great victory" in Zinjibar, saying his troops recaptured parts of the city and broke a militant siege on a local base of the Yemeni military's 25th brigade.

In a report Sunday, Yemen's state news agency Saba quotes Defense Minister General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed as saying the Yemeni military has lost 230 soldiers in the fight for Zinjibar. Saba also says Yemeni Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi told diplomats in Sana'a that 90 of those troops were from the 25th brigade. He said another 600 troops have been wounded.

Saba quotes Hadi as saying the Yemeni military has killed 30 local al-Qaida leaders in months of fighting around Zinjibar, making the capital of Yemen's Abyan province into what he called a "graveyard" for the group.

Hadi has been running the country in the absence of President Saleh, who is recuperating in Saudi Arabia after receiving treatment there for severe wounds in a June bomb attack on his Sana'a compound.

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

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