Violent clashes broke out Thursday between Al-Qaeda militants and tribesmen of the Popular Resistance Committees in Abyan governorate amid fears of Al-Qaeda's control on a small town, Ba-Tais, local sources said. The sources said that the militants raided Ba-Tais, about 10 kilometers in the north of Jaar, a main stronghold of Al-Qaeda in Abyan. The sources said that the militants are about to take control on the town, reiterating that the tribesmen have not enough military equipment in comparison with Al-qaeda militants who captured some parts of the town. They said that five fighters of the Popular Resistance Committees that were formed in various areas of Abyan to back the Yemeni army and three Al-Qaeda militants were killed and three others of the committees were wounded. Yemen's air fighters launched strikes on positions of Al-Qaeda in Ba-Tais, but it was not known whether there were casualties or not, the sources added. Al-Qaeda militants still take control on several towns in Abyan, particularly Zinjibar, Jaar and Shaqra, and they have large quantities of arms they had took over during their clashes with the army.
The Yemeni army has been carrying out an offensive against Al-Qaeda strongholds in some towns of Abyan since May 12. It aimed at reclaiming Zinjibar and other localities in Abyan lost to Al-Qaeda during the past year.
Meanwhile, the First Armored Division led by Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar who supported the Yemeni revolution against the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh dispatched a battalion today, Thursday, to fight al-Qaeda. Local sources said that the Popular Resistance Committees foiled on Thursday a suicide bombing of Al-Qaeda as an Al-Qaeda operative attempted to pass a checkpoint in Lawdar while he was carrying explosives on his car.