Anti-government protestors dance and sing as they celebrate President Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure to Saudi Arabia, in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, June 5, 2011. Thousands of protesters are dancing and singing in the Yemeni capital Sanaa after the country's authoritarian leader flew to Saudi Arabia to receive medical treatment for wounds he suffered in a rocket attack on his compound. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Yemen's Defense Ministry says government troops have killed 12 suspected al-Qaida militants in the troubled southern province of Abyan.
Thursday's ministry statement says the militants were killed in gunbattles with government troops in the province's Doves and Kod areas, but gives no other details.
A military official in Abyan says government troops were advancing on the provincial capital of Zinjibar, captured by militants last week.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak to the media.