November 15, 2011 / 12:13 PM / 8 years ago

Islamist militant killed in Yemen shelling-report

ADEN, Nov 15 (Reuters) - A Moroccan militant leader were killed when Yemen’s army shelled the southern city of Zinjibar, where insurgents have taken advantage of unrest in the country to challenge the military, media reported on Tuesday.

Addul-Ghaffour Hashem al-Zayati, a militant leader known as Abu Mughira, was killed along with some companions on Monday, Yemeni daily Akhbar al-Youm reported, citing residents.

The army also found the dead bodies of a Pakistani doctor and a Yemeni man, both apparently killed by militants, when it moved into the area it had been shelling, the paper said.

Islamist militants suspected of links to al Qaeda have fought the Yemeni army in some southern areas since a popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh began this year.

Months of protests against Saleh’s 33-year rule have weakened already loose central government control over swathes of territory, unnerving neighbouring oil-giant Saudi Arabia and Western powers.

Saleh has received backing from Riyadh and Washington because he is seen as a bulwark against al Qaeda militants who have staged attacks against both countries, using their base in the mountainous Arabian Peninsula country. (Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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