.
.
.
.

Attack on Saudi border post kills ten

Two suspected al-Qaeda militants blew themselves up after police surrounded them inside a government building

Published: Updated:

The death toll in an attack on a Saudi security post near the border with Yemen has reached five security officers - on both sides of the border - and five militants, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Saturday.

The authorities said a sixth militant was arrested.

Two militants blew themselves up early Saturday after police surrounded them inside a government building in the southern province on Sharurah, Saudi Arabian interior ministry’s spokesman, Mansour al-Tukri, said on Saturday.

On Friday, three militants were shot dead during their attack on the border post. One Saudi policeman and a Yemeni soldier were reported to have died during the exchange of fire.

In Yemen, a security source said it was the work of suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen who attacked a military post on the border, triggering a clash that killed a Yemeni soldier and wounded another, Agence France-Presse reported.

The assailants used machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades to attack the Yemeni side of the Wadia post, the source said, adding that the gunmen managed to flee.

After reaching the Saudi side, the gunmen attacked a Saudi border patrol vehicle, killing the driver, Turki said.

The militants seized the car, sparking a chase in which two Saudi security officers were killed along with three of the assailants. The remaining two fled to the nearby province of Sharurah – where they blew themselves up - according to Turki.

The crossing is in Yemen’s south-eastern province of Hadramawt, whose rugged terrain provides hideouts for militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

AQAP, born in 2009 of a fusion between the Saudi and Yemeni branches of Al-Qaeda, is considered by Washington to be the jihadist network’s most dangerous affiliate.

Local Yemeni officials told AFP that Friday’s attack bore “the thumbprints of Al-Qaeda,” without elaborating.

Apart from infiltrators, smugglers do a brisk business across the long and porous border between oil-rich Saudi Arabia and impoverished Yemen.

To counter illegal crossings and arms smuggling, Saudi Arabia is building a 3-meter (10-foot) high fence along its southern frontier.

Taking advantage of a collapse of central authority during the 2011 uprising that forced Yemen’s veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, Al-Qaeda seized swathes of the country’s south and east.

Saudi Arabia launched a massive crackdown on Al-Qaeda following a spate of deadly attacks in the kingdom from 2003-2006.