Yemen troops retake army HQ in assault

2013-10-03 19:20
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) chief Nasser al-Wuhayshi is pictured in the town of Jaar, in the southern Abyan province earlier this year. (File, AFP)

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) chief Nasser al-Wuhayshi is pictured in the town of Jaar, in the southern Abyan province earlier this year. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sanaa - Yemeni troops have retaken a military headquarters in a deadly assault on al-Qaeda-linked militants who seized it this week and took a number of hostages, the defence ministry said on Thursday.

The Wednesday operation, in which all the militants were "annihilated" and a still-unclear number of hostages killed, comes a week after a spectacular series of ambushes on army posts in which more than 50 soldiers and police were killed.

"The armed forces have successfully completed the assault on the headquarters of the Second Military Region at Mukalla and have thoroughly cleansed it of terrorist elements," a defence ministry source was quoted by the official Saba news agency as saying.

"All terrorists... in the building were annihilated," the statement added, without announcing the fate of the captured troops.

Medical and other military sources said at least 12 people, including five soldiers, were killed in the assault to retake the building in Mukalla, in southeast Yemen.

"We received this morning the bodies of 10 people" killed in the attack, a medical source at Ibn Sina public hospital in Mukalla told AFP.

A military official confirmed earlier that at least three of the soldiers taken hostage were among the 10 dead.

He later said two special forces soldiers were also killed.

"Efforts are ongoing to find other possible victims under the rubble," said the official, who said most of the building's third and top storey had been destroyed.

Gunmen from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia group seized the complex on Monday after a suicide bomber rammed a car into the entrance.

The army soon retook most of the building, except for the top floor, where the militants held the soldiers captive.

A military source told AFP the army had fired on the building with artillery.

Mukalla is the capital of the southeastern province of Hadramawt and is a major port city.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap) has intensified its attacks in southern Yemen.

On 20 September, suspected al-Qaeda fighters killed more than 50 soldiers and police in coordinated dawn attacks in neighbouring Shabwa province.

The armed Islamist network has taken advantage of the weakening of the central government since a popular uprising that toppled president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011.

Washington regards Aqap as the global jihadist network's most dangerous affiliate and has stepped up drone strikes targeting the militants.

Read more on:    aqap  |  al-qaeda  |  yemen

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.