ADEN - Four Qaeda fighters and a soldier were killed in overnight fighting outside Zinjibar, capital of the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, a military official said on Saturday. The insurgents had fired three rockets at the headquarters of the 25th Mechanised Brigade, killing the soldier and wounding six others. Separately, three Qaeda militants were killed and five wounded on Friday when a bomb they were making accidentally exploded in Al-Mahfad, a town in northern Abyan, a local official said. Yemeni forces launched an all-out offensive on May 12 aimed at reclaiming Zinjibar and other localities in Abyan lost to Qaeda during the past year.

Since the offensive began, at least 376 people have been killed, according to an AFP tally compiled from official statements. They comprised 275 Qaeda fighters, 65 military personnel, 18 local militiamen and 18 civilians.