Soldier and civilian killed during suspected Al Qaeda ambush in southern Yemen

Soldier and civilian killed during suspected Al Qaeda ambush in southern Yemen
Soldier and civilian killed during suspected Al Qaeda ambush in southern Yemen

Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Soldier and civilian killed during suspected Al Qaeda ambush in southern Yemen and now with details

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A security soldier and a civilian were killed in a suspected Al Qaeda ambush in southern Yemen on Tuesday night.

The attack, in the Wadi Al Khayalah conjunction in Al Mahfed district, in the east of the Abyan province, killed soldier Aydan Ali Awad, 33, and civilian Rabiea Ali Kadash, 36, Captain Salah Al Yousfi, the spokesperson of the Security Belt forces in Abyan told The National.

“The ambush was set up in Wadi Al Khayalah conjunction, which leads to the Wadi Al Khayalah. It’s recognised as one of the main strongholds of Al Qaeda in the province of Abyan” Capt Al Yousfi added.

Al Qaeda hasn’t claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack came shortly after an attack on Sunday targeted the residence of the commander of the Rapid Action Force - a division from the Security Belt Forces in Abyan province.

On January 2, two Security Belt fighters were killed, two wounded and two kidnapped by militants believed to be from Al Qaeda when they attacked a checkpoint held by the force in Al Mahfed.

Military and security sources in the Yemeni military said that they are highly concerned as flocks of Al Qaeda fighters returned to Abyan last summer, and are exploiting a halt in military operations by UAE-trained forces amid a political dispute between the STC and the Yemeni government last summer.

“We have information regarding the return of hundreds of elements linked with Al Qaeda and ISIS,” Gen Naser Salem, the operations room officer in Abyan, told The National.

“A group of them got back to their former stronghold in Wadi Omaran in Moudiyah district. They have been gathering in the mountainous chain in the valley. Dozens of them returned from the bordering province of Al Bayda,” he said.

Dr Elizabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow in Arabic and Islamic studies at Oxford University, told The National that the attack which targeted the residence of the commander of the Rapid Action force last Sunday bore the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda attack.

“Over the past two years, the Security Belt forces in Abyan have been AQAP's second most targeted entity, the first being ISIS in al-Bayda province” Ms Kendall said.

“During this period, AQAP's operational activity in Abyan peaked in August 2019 with the assertion of the STC. It's therefore tempting to see this as part of a broader campaign to attack the south,” she added.

Updated: February 12, 2020 02:13 AM

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