Yemen: 12 killed in militant attack

2012-04-14 17:30
Sana'a - Al-Qaeda fighters attacked a security checkpoint in a southern Yemeni city on Saturday and killed four troops while losing eight of their own, a security official said.

Militants in pickup trucks assaulted the security post in the outskirts of the port city of Aden, the official said. Another three al-Qaeda fighters and one security force member were wounded.

In a separate incident, militants kidnapped a senior intelligence officer and two soldiers in the town of Radda south of the capital Sana'a, another official said.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak to the press.

Al-Qaeda, which has had a presence in Yemen for years, expanded its influence during last year's political upheaval when millions of Yemenis rallied across the country demanding the ouster of their long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh. The militant group seized control of several towns in the south during that time.

Saleh stepped down in February and the new president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has pledged to restructure the Yemeni army and purge it of loyalists to the former ruler in order to be able to combat the terror network.

Al-Qaeda has staged several successful assaults on ill-prepared and demoralized troops, but also appears to have suffered some significant defeats.

On Friday, the Yemeni Defence Ministry said that the death toll among al-Qaeda militants in clashes in Abyan province had reached nearly 200. Armed civilians helped the military in the weeklong battle in several towns in Abyan including Lawder and Moudia.

Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen is one of the movement's most dangerous offshoots.

- AP
Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  yemen
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