Ever since al-Qaida moved into the southern province of Abyan in 2011 Yemen has been in a battle for control over its territories unable to prevent Islamist advances.
This month, President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi vowed to expel al-Qaida from Yemen, launching the country's biggest military operation against the terror group.
Al-Sahwa online newspaper quoting military sources said, "the army is in the middle of Zinjibar and soon to be in control of the town."
At dawn Thursday, al-Sahwa said warplanes pounded al-Qaida positions destroying a warehouse where the group was storing its weapons and military equipment.
The Yemen Post said government armed forces were also moving against Jaar – another al-Qaida stronghold – adding seven soldiers had been injured in the clashes.