According to Al-Arabiya, at least 30 people, mostly soldiers, have died in renewed clashes between al-Qaida linked militants and government forces in southern Yemen.
“Seventeen soldiers were killed in the fighting,” which erupted when the al-Qaida linked militants attacked army positions in Mallah, a town in Lahij, an army officer on the ground told AFP.
The area is near Abyan province, an al-Qaida stronghold.
Dozens have been wounded or injured, two army tanks, several vehicles have reportedly been destroyed in the clashes and several soldiers have also been taken hostage.
The Ansar al-Sharia militant group 'al-Qaida linked militants' has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Earlier, a military official said the clashes had left 15 people dead, including seven soldiers and eight of al-Qaida fighters.
On Friday, seven al-Qaida fighters have been killed by a US Intelligence drone air attack in the southern province of Shabwa, according to a local official in Shabwa province.
After the attack, a group of al-Qaida fighters blew up a gas pipeline, feeding fuel to one of Yemen’s major gas-processing facilities.
According to a local official the gas pipeline linking Marib province to Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden.
The Ansar al-Sharia militant group has claimed responsibility for the act of sabotage.
Related, according to a study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the US Intelligence and army has intensified its attacks in Yemen over the past year, killing scores of civilians and al-Qaida fighters .The US has carried out as many as 44 attacks in Yemen, up to 34 of them since May 2011.
According to the study,the majority of the attacks were carried out by CIA operatives and US special forces command, operating from a base in nearby Dijbouti.