Clashes between al-Qaeda militants and the Yemeni army on the outskirts of Zinjibar left 20 people dead, mostly militants, as soldiers advanced towards the city, AFP reported Friday (April 20th).
"Eighteen al-Qaeda militants were killed and dozens wounded while the rest fled" the clashes that broke out late Thursday, the ministry's website 26sep.net said.
Two soldiers were also killed while seven others were wounded, the website said.
Yemeni troops have been trying to retake Zinjibar, which is controlled by al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia, since May 2011. The latest advance was a "major advance […] driving out the terrorist al-Qaeda elements from several positions they held", the ministry said.