Yemen tribesmen repel Qaeda attack on southern town
ADEN (Yemen) - Yemeni tribesmen on Saturday killed 13 Al-Qaeda fighters who had slipped back into a southern town hours after pulling out in the face of street protests, a security official said.
The jihadists had re-emerged during the night and sought to take control of public buildings in the Abyan province town of Loder, the official said.
They met with fierce resistance from armed residents and withdrew after gun battles lasting two hours.
Loder was one of three towns in Abyan province that Al-Qaeda fighters entered on Thursday. They withdrew from two of them on Friday in the face of warnings of resistance from local tribes.
Yemen's powerful and heavily armed tribes play a leading role in the country's politics and frequently determine local allegiances.
Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of nearly two years of fighting between government forces and Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa to entrench its presence in swathes of the south.
But its freedom to operate is constrained by the need to negotiate shifting tribal loyalties.