Yemeni military officials say eight army soldiers and 14 al-Qaida militants have been killed in fighting in the southern Abyan province. The officials said Sunday's fighting was taking place west of Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar, held by militants since May. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The violence in Abyan highlights the challenges facing Yemen after a yearlong political turmoil that has allowed al-Qaida to seize several towns in the nearly lawless south and withstand repeated army offensives to retake them.