At least 36 Al Qaeda terrorists have been killed in an ongoing counterterrorism operation by the Yemeni government in the eastern province of Shabwa.
At least 10 other terrorists have been wounded, according to state news agency Saba. It comes after the army sent reinforcements to the provincial capital of Shabwa, the agency added.
Despite the death toll inflicted on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one Yemeni military official was quoted by CNN as saying the operation was not going as well as they had hoped.
"It seems like the militants were ready for the operations," the official said. "Resistance has been stronger and casualties among Yemeni military have been higher."
Yemen's government has been struggling to assert its control over parts of the country held by AQAP and sympathetic local tribesmen. Sana'a's efforts have been backed by the US, with drone strikes and other operations inflicting a heavy toll on the branch of Al Qaeda considered by American officials to be its "most dangerous."
A recent unprecedented operation, reportedly carried out by US special forces, succeeded in killing several high-level AQAP operatives, including notorious explosives expert Ibrahim al-Asiri
It came after an equally unprecedented public meeting of Al Qaeda commanders in the country.