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Yemen clashes kill soldier, 2 Al Qaeda militants

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Security officials say fighting in western Yemen has killed one soldier and two al-Qaida militants.

The officials say militants first attacked a security checkpoint early on Tuesday in the town of Wassab in Damar province, killing one soldier, then fled to the nearby Hudayda province.

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Security forces pursued the militants into Hudayda, where clashes lasted for nearly two hours.

The officials say two militants died and four were arrested. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Yemen’s Al Qaeda branch, also known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered by the US to be the terror group’s most dangerous offshoot.

It controlled large sections of southern Yemen after the 2011 uprising, but US drone strikes and Yemeni military operations have limited the militants’ foothold since then.

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