SA'NA, Yemen -- An al-Qaida attack on a Yemeni army post in the south set off clashes that left 64 people dead Monday and prompted local civilians to take up arms alongside the military to beat back the militants, said army officials and residents.
The dawn attack is the latest in a series of bloody battles in recent months that mark an escalation in al-Qaida's efforts to expand its control around a swath of land it seized last year. The group took advantage of the country's political turmoil to overrun cities and towns in southern Yemen.
The militant movement appears to be on the offensive, assaulting and sometimes overrunning army positions, although it also suffers reverses.
The officials said this latest assault fell on an outpost in the town of Lawder in Abyan province, some 155 miles southeast of the capital of Sanaa. -- AP