Suspected al Qaeda attacks kill at least 10 Yemeni soldiers

Soldier in Yemen

Originally posted to The Guardian website, 3 December 2021 

ADEN, June 23 (Reuters) – At least 10 Yemeni soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in south Yemen believed to have been carried out by al Qaeda militants, officials and state news agency Saba said on Wednesday.

A convoy belonging to Saudi-backed forces was attacked by armed men overnight using roadside bombs in Abyan province, Saba reported, adding that three soldiers were killed and two other bodies were recovered.

A second attack targeted a military unit at a checkpoint in the southern town of Ateq in Shabwa province early on Wednesday, killing five soldiers, Saba said. Two Yemeni officials confirmed the two attacks to Reuters.

Several people were wounded in both attacks, they said.

Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has used a seven-year-old conflict between the Iran-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed coalition to enhance its influence.

It has survived an intensive campaign over the last decade from the U.S. military, the coalition and the Houthis, taking advantage of Yemen’s mayhem, tribal sympathies and large and empty swaths of south Yemen.

The attacks came amid a ceasefire that has suspended air, sea and land attacks while allowing imports into Houthi-controlled sea ports and a partial reopening of Sanaa airport.

The truce is the first comprehensive agreement in the conflict that has killed tens of thousands and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

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