Qaeda claims failed ambush on Yemen general, death of soldier

‘Members of Al-Qaeda’ set an ambush for the convoy of General Abdulrahman al-Hulaili, the head of the First Military Region

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Al-Qaeda said Monday that it had carried out an unsuccessful bid to assassinate a top Yemeni general in an ambush the government said killed two soldiers and wounded 11 others.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula also said it had killed an intelligence officer in a separate incident on Monday.

In an Internet statement picked up by SITE Intelligence Group, AQAP said it had targeted the vehicle of the commander of the First Military Region, General Abdulrahman al-Hulaili, with an explosive device, but that he had survived.

After the blast, the general’s guards “indiscriminately fired their weapons, which horrified the Muslims in the area and afflicted them with some material losses to their property,” the statement said.

A military official said two soldiers were killed and 11 wounded when Al-Qaeda militants ambushed Hulaili’s convoy in southeastern Hadramawt province.

They detonated explosives planted by the roadside and opened fire as the convoy passed, but Hulaili escaped unscathed, the official added.

In the second incident, AQAP said its gunmen opened fire on Colonel Nasser al-Wahishi in central Baida city, killing him instantly.

A local official there said two gunmen on a motorbike shot Wahishi dead, and that the assailants were suspected of being in Al-Qaeda.

The attacks come a day after a similar bombing targeted the commander of the 31st Armoured Battalion, General Farej al-Atiqi, in the southern city of Aden.

Atiqi escaped unharmed, but his driver was killed and two bodyguards were wounded.

Security forces are often the targets of attacks blamed on AQAP, which the United States regards as the deadliest branch of the global extremist network.

AQAP has exploited the weakened central authority in Yemen since the 2012 departure of president Ali Abdullah Saleh following a year-long popular uprising.

The group’s presence is strongest in the south and southeast of the impoverished country, but AQAP has also launched attacks in the capital itself.

In other unrest, a bomb planted in the car of Ali al-Sharif, a prominent Shiite Houthi chief in Marib, east of Sanaa, killed his son and a bodyguard, a local official said.

Yemen has been rocked by instability since the Shiite fighters, who are also known as Ansarullah, seized control of Sanaa on September 21.

The Houthis have since expanded their presence in central and western Yemen, but have met fierce resistance from Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda.

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