SANAA, Yemen, June 17 (UPI) -- Tribal leaders in Yemen are mediating a peaceful withdrawal of terror militants from the province of Shabwa, officials said Sunday.
The tribal leaders told Mareb Press they were discussing the terms of an al-Qaida withdrawal from their territories in a bid to prevent further bloodshed.
The Socialist Forum Sunday said fears remained that Azan -- a stronghold of al-Qaida in Shabwa -- would become the scene of another lengthy siege.
With Yemeni armed forces having successfully captured most al-Qaida controlled territories in Abyan in June, the defense ministry is pushing to cleanse neighboring provinces and dislodge all terror militants.
A Defense Ministry statement Sunday announced the continuation of "surgical airstrikes against al-Qaida positions in Shuqra", the last known stronghold of the group in the Abyan province.
In the eastern province of Hadramaut, a local newspaper, al-Barakanish, said Police Chief Col. Ahmed Mohammed Aharmla was killed by an al-Qaida bombing.