Seven soldiers killed in fresh Yemen attack
ADEN MILITANTS killed seven Yemeni soldiers in an attack on their outpost in southern Yemen early on Sunday, the defence ministry said, a day after at least 20 troops were killed in a similar raid by Islamist fighters linked to Al Qaeda.
The defence ministry’s September 26 news portal said “seven soldiers were martyred in a treacherous terrorist attack on their outpost” near the city of Shibam, in the southern Hadramout province.
The Yemeni defence minister was due to brief parliament on Sunday on a series of attacks that have killed nearly 200 Yemeni soldiers since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February under a Gulf Arab deal with US backing.
Officials have blamed an al Qaeda-linked Islamist group that controls swathes of territory in southern Yemen for the attacks.
The militants were emboldened by chaos in the armed forces following a year of political upheaval in Yemen that saw mass protests and split the armed forces as Yemenis demanded that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down after 33 years in office.
The United States and oil giant Saudi Arabia engineered the transfer of power that saw Hadi succeed Saleh.
Hadi’s main task is to try to restore stability so that the militants have fewer opportunities to exploit central government weakness.
Almotamar, an online website run by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party, said Sunday’s attack took place at dawn when militants stormed a military outpost.
“The attack bears the fingerprints of Al Qaeda,” it quoted a security source as saying without giving further details.
The attack appeared to mirror Saturday’s, in which militants raided the Al Hurur military checkpoint in the southern Abyan province, killing at least 20 soldiers, according to a senior military official.
The Yemeni interior ministry put the death toll at 13 soldiers, while the militant Ansar al-Sharia group, which claimed the attack, said about 30 soldiers had died, and seized military hardware.