Yemeni security forces killed seven Al Qaeda militants Sunday in a fresh clash in the country's southern province of Abyan, authorities said.
Yemeni defence ministry said seven Al Qaeda men were killed Sunday in a raid carried out in the militant's hideout in Lodar city, increasing the death toll of the militants to 12 since Friday, Xinhua reported.
The security forces laid siege to the terrorists who were holed up in some houses in Lodar, the ministry's website quoted security director of Abyan, Brigadier Abdulrazaq al-Marwani, as saying.
The clashes have been continuing since Friday.
Abyan province is thought to be a stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) after it witnesses a series of deadly attacks allegedly carried out by the regional terrorist wing since earlier this year.
Yemen, the ancestral home of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has intensified military operations against terrorist groups after the Yemen-based Al Qaeda wing claimed responsibility for a failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a US passenger plane bound for Detroit last year.