Yemeni officials say forces attempting to storm al-Qaida hideout in country’s south

By Ahmed Al-haj, AP
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Al-Qaida militants still battling Yemeni troops

SAN’A, Yemen — Yemeni officials say government troops laying siege to al-Qaida militants holed up in a village in the country’s south have failed to retake the town because of fierce resistance.

Government troops are battling some 120 al-Qaida fighters believed to be hiding in the village of Hawta.

Provincial medical officials say at least nine soldiers were wounded in heavy fighting Wednesday, the third day of the siege.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to comment on operational details.

Government forces also have moved into a nearby village with tanks and armored vehicles, while thousands of civilians have fled the area to escape the fighting.

The operation comes as they U.S. pushes Yemeni authorities to uproot al-Qaida militants in the country.

will not be displayed