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Yemen troops kill 12 al-Qaida militants in south

A billboard depicting Yemen's Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Arabic writing that reads, 'February 21is the beginning of a new era in the life of Yemen,' is seen above protestors praying during a demonstration demanding the prosecution of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. A billboard depicting Yemen's Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Arabic writing that reads, "February 21is the beginning of a new era in the life of Yemen," is seen above protestors praying during a demonstration demanding the prosecution of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
By Ahmed Al-Haj
Associated Press / February 14, 2012
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SANAA, Yemen—A Yemeni security official says government troops have killed 12 al-Qaida-linked militants in heavy artillery shelling in the south while two soldiers died in clashes with militants in the same area.

The official says the bombardment of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, started on Monday night and was still going on early Tuesday, hitting northern and eastern parts of the city.

He says two Yemeni soldiers died in separate clashes with the militants in Zinjibar. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

During the past year of Yemen's turmoil, al-Qaida-linked militants have seized control of several cities and towns in the south, including Zinjibar. Government operations have failed to oust them.

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