Elsewhere, 10 people were killed in a sixth night of clashes pitting militants linked to Al-Qaeda against Yemeni troops trying to retake Zinjibar, Abyan’s provincial capital.
“A military vehicle was ambushed by members of Al-Qaeda east of Zinjibar and seven soldiers died,” a military source said.
“Three extremists were killed” in a subsequent gunfight,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the Yemen Air Force carried out four raids in the southern city of Jaar, also in the Abyan province, he said, without being able to say specify the number of casualties.
Government forces have been backed by tribal fighters and sometimes supported by US drone strikes in their battle against the Partisans of Sharia, an insurgent group that took over most of Zinjibar in May.
Al-Qaeda has profited from the instability caused by 11 months of protests against Saleh, strengthening its positions across the south of the country.