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Yemeni army fights to center of al-Qaida held city
Yemen government troops fight their way into center of al-Qaida-held city, officials say
By The Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen (AP) ' Yemeni government troops have fought their way into the center of an al-Qaida-held city in the country's lawless south after a fierce, six-hour battle that ended early Tuesday, military officials said.

The soldiers, backed by artillery and tanks, launched the push into Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, under the cover of darkness, the officials said.

By the time they made it to the heart of Zinjibar, dozens were killed and wounded on both sides in the battle, the officials said though they had no exact figures. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

At least four Yemeni army tanks, which had previously been captured by al-Qaida fighters, were destroyed in the fighting, according to the officials.

Al-Qaida militants seized Zinjibar last May when fighters from the terror network's Yemeni branch took advantage of the turmoil in the impoverished nation to capture several cities and towns in the south.

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