Three Yemeni soldiers were killed Wednesday when suspected al-Qaeda militants opened fire on a military zone in the country’s Hadramawt province, a military source said.
“Three soldiers were killed in the attack on the first military zone in the al-Qoton district, and the gunmen managed to get away,” the source said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to brief the media. “We suspect the gunmen belong to al-Qaeda,” the source added.
Later, an officer was kidnapped at night in the southern province of Abyan by gunmen also suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda, a security source said.
The source said the officer was part of the presidential guard in Aden, a neighboring province where the government is based. Al-Qaeda has flourished in Yemen as the country’s civil conflict shows no sign of waning.
Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula
Its Yemeni offshoot, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, remains active in the vast region of Hadramawt, where a number of the extremist group’s leaders are based.
Since President Donald Trump took office in January, the United States has intensified its air attacks on AQAP. Abyan is among the provinces targeted by the US strikes.
Yemen’s Saudi-backed government has for years battled Huthi rebels allied with Iran for control over the country, the most impoverished in the Arab world.