Officials: 106 dead in Yemen fighting

AHMED AL-HAJ Associated Press Published:

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Military officials say the death toll from fighting in southern Yemen between army troops and al-Qaida militants has risen to 106, with another 55 soldiers taken prisoner.

They said Sunday's battle in Abyan province left 78 soldiers and 28 militants killed and wounded scores from both sides. Medical officials confirmed the latest death toll.

Speaking on Monday, the military officials said the militants took hostage another 55 troops during the surprise attack against army bases just outside Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar.

The captives were paraded late on Sunday through the streets of Jaar, a nearby town that has been under al-Qaida's control for nearly a year.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.