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Army kills at least 7 militants in Yemen's restive south

The battle for the country's south continues, with government forces redoubling efforts after a brazen weekend attack claimed by Al-Qaida.

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The southern Yemeni town of Jaar, seized by militants several months ago, is patrolled by members of Ansar al-Sharia, an Al-Qaeda affiliate group. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Local officials in Yemen today said a government attack on a militant stronghold killed at least seven insurgents in the southern town of Jaar, near where a bold extremist assault killed nearly 200 Yemeni forces over the weekend, reported AFP

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the government attack took place overnight in the restive southern Abyan province, the scene of ongoing skirmishes between militants and government forces. 

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The Associated Press quoted unnamed officials as saying 12 people were wounded in the attack in Jaar. It was not immediately clear whether all of the injured were insurgents. 

Jaar was seized by extremists during the recent political instablility in Yemen caused by a year-long uprising against the government, said AP.

Much of the south remains in the control of Al-Qaida-linked militants, with the army locked in a months-long campaign to oust them from the area. 

The newly-formed Yemini government held an emergency meeting late Wednesday concerned over the loss of some 180 soldiers at the Kud army base in a forceful attack claimed by Al-Qaida, said AFP.

They issued a statement calling for unity “in the face of terrorism and extremism" that "threatens Yemen’s security and stability," AFP said

Also today, The Yemen Times quoted Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Baseundwah as saying, "Yemen will be better off with a woman leader."

“I am saying this not as a compliment," he said at a Wednesday conference marking March 8, International Women's Day, "but because I have seen how much Yemeni women have suffered and yet handled the challenges with strength and wisdom.”

Women were at the forefront of protests against Yemen's ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120308/army-assault-kills-at-least-7-militants-yemens-restive-sout