Hani Mohammed, Associated Press
An armed Yemeni tribesman loyal to Sheik Sadeq al-Ahmar, the head of the powerful Hashid tribe, stands near a building damaged during recent clashes with security forces in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.

SANAA, Yemen — A Yemeni military official says a battle against al-Qaida-linked fighters in the south has killed 10 of the militants and five soldiers.

The fighting took place overnight outside the city of Zinjibar, which remains under the partial control of Islamic militants who seized the city in May.

Al-Qaida-linked militants have overrun swaths of territory in the area, taking advantage of the security vacuum resulting from the political unrest roiling the fragile and impoverished country.

The official says the government side used intensive artillery shelling and that 21 soldiers were injured.

He spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.