SANAA, Yemen -- A Yemeni security official says six suspected al-Qaida militants and two citizens fighting them were killed in separate clashes between members of the terror group and armed residents who repelled attempts to retake their communities.
The official said the clashes took place Tuesday in the small cities of Yafaa and Lawder in southern Lahj and Abyan provinces. He says Yafaa residents fought suspected al-Qaida militants after the recent assassination of a government intelligence official. Lawder residents successfully resisted al-Qaida suspects who attacked checkpoints installed by resident popular committees supporting the Yemeni military offensive against al-Qaida.
The popular committees have been formed over the last year to help soldiers expel suspected al-Qaida militants.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.