Thirteen al-Qaeda fighters, including three Somalis, were killed in an artillery bombardment targeting a gathering of the group on the outskirts of the southern city of Lawder, Yemeni Ministry of Defence's 26sep.net reported Monday (April 23rd).
According to the website, popular committee fighters in co-operation with army forces "dealt painful blows to the terrorist elements and forced them to retreat".
The website also said that 17 other al-Qaeda fighters were killed Saturday in an air strike targeting the same area.
Meanwhile, Hud and al-Karama, two Yemeni human rights groups, said al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia plans to execute ten soldiers -- out of total of 70 soldiers held hostage -- every week unless the government meets its demands to release certain detainees, Saudi Arabia's al-Riyadh daily reported.
A statement issued by the two groups appealed to Ansar al-Sharia to stop its illegal executions.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed Sunday that a French worker was kidnapped in eastern Yemen.
ICRC spokesperson Dibeh Fakhr told DPA (German News Agency) that a French delegate was kidnapped Friday evening near Hudayda while on his way to the airport.
"Until now, we do not have any information on the kidnappers or what they want," she added, noting that they are "in contact with all authorities in Yemen. We demand the kidnappers to release him without any conditions and to guarantee his own safety."