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Clashes Between Yemeni Forces, Militants Kill 30

Yemeni army soldiers, check a car, at a checkpoint in Sana'a, June 11, 2011

Yemeni defense officials say at least 30 soldiers and suspected militants have been killed in clashes in the southern Abyan province.

The Defense Ministry said Saturday that 18 militants and 9 soldiers were killed in fighting in Zinjibar. Witnesses say the fighting continues in the city, which had been seized by suspected al-Qaida militants last month.

The ministry says three suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in a separate incident in the province.

Yemen had been battling al-Qaida forces and separatists before anti-government unrest erupted earlier this year. On Friday, tens of thousands of Yemeni's turned out for rival rallies across the country.

Loyalists cheered word that President Ali Abdullah Saleh was recovering from injuries sustained during an attack on his presidential compound last week.

However, anti-government activists renewed calls for Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi to start the process of setting up a transitional government council, while Saleh recovers in Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni leader left his homeland a week ago after sustaining burns over 40 percent of his body in the bomb attack.

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

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