Seven Al-Qaeda suspects, including four Somali nationals, have been killed in battles with Yemeni troops near the southern town of Loder, the ministry of defence said on Thursday.
"The heroes of the 111 battalion of the army, supported by (armed civilians) of the Popular Resistance Committees, attacked and destroyed an Al-Qaeda" position near Loder, in Yemen's troubled southern Abyan province, the ministry said in a statement.
It said that seven members of Al Qaeda, including four Somali nationals, were killed in the Wednesday night attack.
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The deaths were the latest in a series of battles between Al-Qaeda militants and the Yemeni army in recent days that have killed more than 200 people.
On Wednesday, an air strike on an Al-Qaeda position near Loder killed six militants, according to the ministry.
Extremists have been trying to take over Loder, in an attempt to strengthen their presence in Abyan, which they virtually control.
Al-Qaeda has exploited a decline in central government control that accompanied Arab Spring-inspired protests which eventually forced Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign.