5 Ye­meni sol­diers killed in sus­pected Al Qaeda at­tack

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Aden, Ye­men - Five Ye­meni sol­diers were killed and three wounded on Sun­day when gun­men sus­pected of ties to Al Qaeda terror net­work opened fire on a mil­i­tary check­point, an army source said.

The source said the gun­men man­aged to es­cape af­ter the at­tack on the check­point in the north­east of Shabwa prov­ince, a south­ern strong­hold of Ye­men’s pow­er­ful Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula (AQAP).

Sun­day’s at­tack is the lat­est in a string of sus­pected AQAP shoot­ings tar­get­ing mil­i­tary check­points and out­posts in Ye­men.

AQAP, seen by the United States as the global terror net­work’s most dan­ger­ous branch, has ex­ploited years of deadly con­flict be­tween Ye­men’s gov­ern­ment and Huthi rebels to ex­pand its pres­ence, es­pe­cially in Shabwa.

A US air raid on the prov­ince last month killed AQAP emir Abu Khat­tab al Awlaqi, ac­cord- ing to the Pen­tagon.

The US has in­ten­si­fied its air at­tacks on sus­pected AQAP sites in Ye­men since Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump took of­fice in Jan­uary this year.

Ye­men’s gov­ern­ment, al­lied with a Saudi-led Arab mil­i­tary coali­tion, has for years been bat­tling Iran-backed Shi­ite Huthi rebels for con­trol of the im­pov­er­ished coun­try. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion es­ti­mates that more than 8,000 peo­ple have been killed in Ye­men’s con­flict, most of them civil­ians, since the Saudi-led coali­tion en­tered the con­flict in 2015.

The coun­try has also been hit by a deadly cholera out­break and is on the edge of famine.

The UN aid chief last week blamed Ye­men's war­ring par­ties and their for­eign back­ers for a 'man-made' cholera out­break af­fect­ing 320,000 peo­ple in a coun­try al­ready reel­ing from war and se­vere food short­ages.

The US has in­ten­si­fied its air at­tacks on sus­pected AQAP sites in Ye­men since Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump took of­fice in Jan­uary this year

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