The Yemeni authorities in cooperation with the pro-government tribal committees have arrested 28 Al-Qaeda militants in the cities of Zinjibar and Jaar since the army drove Al-Qaeda out of its strongholds in the southern province of Abyan, the defense ministry reported on Saturday.
Senior Al-Qaeda leaders were among the arrested, the ministry's mouthpiece, the September 26 website, said quoting a statement by Abyan government Jamal Al-Aqil.
"A hunt is continuing for some militants who are still hiding in remote and rigged areas in Abyan," the governor said.
The statement coincided with renewed clashes between the armed forces and Al-Qaeda militants in the Shoqra city, in which several militants and soldiers were killed.
Also, the forces seized cars and motorbikes which were owned by militants after clashes in Zinjibar and Jaar, it said, adding that one of the pro-government fighters was killed in the battles.
In May, the army with direct support from the US launched an offensive and drove Al-Qaeda militants out of their strongholds in the key towns in Abyan and Shabwa which were seized in mid-2011. Hundreds of militants including senior leaders were killed in the offensive.
Since the victory, the authorities have arrested many militants and cells in a continuous, massive hunt for the remaining operatives.
In what appeared to be retaliation for the severe blows, Al-Qaeda has stepped up deadly bombings in main cities including the capital Sanaa targeting military and security chiefs, personnel and offices.