April 11, 2011 / 4:00 PM / 7 years ago

Yemen says troops kill 11 al Qaeda militants

ADEN (Reuters) - Eleven suspected al Qaeda members were killed in a clash with Yemeni forces on Monday in the south of the Arabian Peninsula country, the Yemeni Defense Ministry said.

Two of the militants killed in the clash in Abyan province were foreigners, the ministry website said in a text message. Government troops have often clashed with Islamists including al Qaeda in Abyan. The ministry gave no further details.

Western countries are concerned that al Qaeda militants could exploit any chaos arising from a disorderly transition if President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a U.S. and Saudi ally, steps down following mass protests demanding his resignation.

Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; writing by Firouz Sedarat; editing by Tim Pearce

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