Yemeni soldiers killed in ambush

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IOL pic may12 yemen security Reuters Yemen's army vehicles are seen in an area taken from al-Qaeda militants in Mayfaa, in the south-eastern province of Shabwa. File picture: Yemeni Defence Ministry, via Reuters

Shehr, Yemen - Gunmen killed two soldiers in an ambush on an army patrol in south-eastern Yemen on Monday, a security official said.

“Unknown gunmen opened fire at a military vehicle killing two soldiers,” the source said. The attack took place at the entrance to Shehr, a coastal town in Hadramawt province.

The assailants fled, he said.

The ambush coincided with an army operation launched April 29 against suspected al-Qaeda militants, centred on Abyan and Shabwa in the south and the central province of Baida.

But al-Qaeda is also firmly implanted in other regions, including Hadramawt.

Its Yemeni franchise, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, took advantage of a 2011 uprising that ousted veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize large swathes of the south and east.

The army recaptured several major towns in 2012, but has struggled to re-assert control in rural areas despite recruiting militia allies among local tribes. - AFP


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