Yemen: Al-Qaeda attack kills 21 soldiers in Abyan
By Shukri Hussein
SANA’A, Yemen (AA): At least 21 soldiers were killed in an attack by al-Qaeda terrorist group in southern Yemen on Tuesday, according to the Interior Ministry.
A ministry statement said the attack targeted a security checkpoint manned by the government-aligned Security Belt Forces (SBF) in Ahwar district in Abyan province.
The SBF is a security force loyal to the secessionist Southern Transitional Council.
The separatist council is backed by the United Arab Emirates and controls much of Yemen’s south. It is at odds with the internationally recognized government.
Seven other soldiers were also injured and eight terrorists killed in the attack.
SBF said earlier that the commander of the 1st Battalion, Yasser Shaye’, was among the victims.
Military headquarters in Abyan come under frequent attacks, usually attributed to Al-Qaeda, which is active in the mountainous areas on the outskirts of Ahwar and Al-Mahfad districts, east of the provincial capital Zinjibar.
The Yemeni army and SBF of the allied Southern Transitional Council share control of Abyan province.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara
Additional report by The Muslim News
[Map of Yemen by CIA Factbook/Public Domain]