Yemen's defense ministry today said 28 insurgents tied to al-Qaida were killed today in the country's mostly militant-controlled south, the Associated Press reported.
The statement also said the army took custody of two top al-Qaida members, said AP.
Tribal sources, however, told Reuters that as many as 34 people were killed in clashes in the country's south today.
Islamic militants moved into the region over the past year, taking advantage of the political upheaval that saw the ousting of former longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.
Their presence there is seen as a major test of the country's young leadership.
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The government recently launched a military campaign that it says has taken the lives of some 200 militants in the region in the last five days alone, according to AP. The army is also working with armed civilians eager to oust extremist activity from their towns.
Al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered one of the group's most dangerous, said AP.