ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Forces loyal to Yemen's government on Tuesday evicted scores of militants of the al-Qaida terrorist group from the country's southern province of Abyan following days of armed confrontations, a military official told Xinhua.
"Military units of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which are part of Yemen's government, attacked al-Qaida hideouts and positions in various mountainous areas of turbulent Abyan, making headway on the ground," the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
STC troops' anti-terror operations is still in progress and have forced al-Qaida militants to leave various strongholds in Abyan, including the large valley of Omaran, after leaving al-Qaida casualties, the source confirmed.
"After expelling al-Qaida militants from their bastions in Abyan, the STC troops backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition began preparations to storm more mountainous areas controlled by al-Qaida," he said.
Last month, the STC troops launched a major anti-terror operation code-named "Arrows of the East" in Abyan to combat terror groups.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against the security forces in the country's southern provinces.
The AQAP has exploited years of deadly conflict between the Yemeni government and Houthi militia to expand its presence in the war-ravaged Arab country.