Security sources confirmed on Tuesday reports al-Qaeda militants sent several hundreds of their fighters to Radda - a town in al-Baydha province, south-east of the capital Sana'a - to fend off Yemen armed forces armed forces against their troops in the area.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry ordered an assault against al-Qaeda positions in Radda after negotiators failed to secure the release of three European hostages.
A bi-frontal attack -- air and ground - on Monday at dawn led to the displacement of a reported 2,500 civilians - including many women and children - Local officials in al-Manaseh, a village believed to be an al-Qaeda stronghold said civilians had to flee the shelling and find refuge in nearby villages.
An official at the Defense Ministry confirmed that over 7,000 soldiers had been dispatched to Radda to contain and destroy al-Qaeda and outroot all terror cells in the region.
Security sources told the Yemen Post the military escalation against Islamic militants is part of a global effort to eradicate radical Islam from Yemen. "Similar operations are to be expected over coming months as the army is moving against radical Islam. It will most likely coincide with an extensive Drone campaign," said a Colonel at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.