185 troops killed in al Qaeda at­tack

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

SANAA | The death toll from an al Qaeda as­sault on a mil­i­tary base in south­ern Ye­men has risen to 185 gov­ern­ment sol­diers, mil­i­tary and med­i­cal of­fi­cials said Tues­day.

Many sol­diers’ bod­ies were found mu­ti­lated, and some were head­less.

The scale of the army’s de­feat in Sun­day’s bat­tle, which ap­pears to be the worst-ever suf­fered by Ye­men’s mil­i­tary in its 10-month cam­paign against al Qaeda in the south­ern prov­ince of Abyan, deals a ma­jor blow to ef­forts by newly in­au­gu­rated Ye­meni Pres­i­dent Abed Rabbo Man­sour Hadi to up­root the mil­i­tant move­ment from the re­gion.

The sur­prise at­tack and the mu­ti­la­tions have left gov­ern­ment troops “fear­ful” and with “low morale,” ac­cord­ing to a se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cial who was part of the de­feated force.

An­other 55 sol­diers were cap­tured and pa­raded through a nearby town by the mil­i­tants, who lost 32 of their fight­ers in the as­sault.

Med­i­cal of­fi­cials in the area con­firmed the lat­est death toll and said some of the bod­ies of sol­diers re­cov­ered were miss­ing their heads and bore mul­ti­ple stab wounds.

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