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Airstrike kills 55 al Qaeda militants in south Yemen

Multiple airstrikes have inflicted a heavy toll on al Qaeda, according to Yemen’s interior ministry. The country has been grappling with the terror cell, which has carried out numerous attacks on its military.

Yemen's interior ministry confirmed reports of a weekend assault on al Qaeda which left dozens dead. The figures provided on its website put the death toll at 55, above the original estimate given by tribal sources - 30 - over the weekend.

The statement called the wave of airstrikes, which occurred between Saturday and early Monday morning, among the "most severe" against the terrorist network in Yemen.

Three local chiefs were reportedly among those killed when several al Qaeda training camps in Abyan and Shabwa provinces were struck, it added.

Yemen has been battling nationwide instability since the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in December 2011. The country faces a rise in violence, with its military repeatedly coming under attack by fighters linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

kms/ccp (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)