"The AQAP is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia."
Aden, May 17 - The Yemeni armed forces killed two Saudi Al-Qaida militants during fighting in the south-eastern province of Shabwa Saturday, Xinhua quoted a military official.
The gunfight occurred near the centre of the district of Azzan in southeastern Shabwa province, killing two Saudi members of the Yemen-based Al-Qaida terrorist group on the spot, the local military official said.
Some of Al-Qaida militants attempted to sneak into an army outpost but failed to reach the site, the government source said.
A government official said that hundreds of Azzan residents fled from clashes and army shelling of several al-Qaida-held sites in the turbulent region.
Commanders of the army troops in Shabwa have told the rest of the residents to stay away from the fighting areas, as the al- Qaida terrorists are trying to use residents as human shields, the source added.
On Wednesday, up to 30 al-Qaida militants were killed during clashes with army forces in Shabwa province.
The Yemeni military and security forces have recently intensified operations against suspected al-Qaida strong holds throughout the country, killing many non-Yemeni al-Qaida suspects.
Territories in Azzan and Mahfad, two of al-Qaida's main bastions, have been recaptured by army troops.
However, the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known as Ansar al-Sharia, has vowed to hit back in Yemen's main cities, including the capital Sanaa.
The AQAP is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
The AQAP militants have retaliated by launching suicide car attacks and roadside bombings across the impoverished Arab country.