4 Qaida Suspects, 3 Yemeni Troops Killed in Gunbattles

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Yemeni colonel, two soldiers and four suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in clashes in the flashpoint southern city of Zinjibar on Sunday, a military official and medics said.

"I lost one of my men, Colonel Salem al-Zuba," who was killed in fierce clashes with al-Qaida gunmen, an officer of the besieged 25th mechanized brigade told Agence France Presse.

A medic at a military hospital in Aden said the bodies of two soldiers were brought in from clashes in Zinjibar, which was mostly overrun by suspected al-Qaida militants last month.

Al-Razi hospital in the nearby town of Jaar, meanwhile, "received the bodies of four al-Qaida militants, in addition to five others wounded," a medic told AFP.

An unidentified spokesman claiming to represent the gunmen in Zinjibar told AFP by telephone that the jihadists "stormed part of the camp of the 25th brigade," a report denied by the officer.

Residents said fighter planes overflew Zinjibar on Sunday.

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