Yemen's Interior Ministry announced Thursday (September 1st) that security forces have killed 300 al-Qaeda fighters in the south since May, the official Saba agency reported.
A total of 183 government troops died in the fighting, and 250 were wounded, according to AFP.
The fighters killed in Abyan province include several leaders of al-Qaeda who were sought by authorities, the ministry said. Some analysts were sceptical about the announcement because in February Interior Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said there were only a couple hundred al-Qaeda militants in the south.
The Defence Ministry announced that military forces, allied with local tribesmen, launched an offensive against al-Qaeda in Abyan and opened a road leading to Zinjibar, the provincial capital occupied by the terror group. The army is "tightening the grip on al-Qaeda elements", the ministry said.