Unknown attackers kill five soldiers in southern Yemen

Checkpoint manned by UAE-backed ‘Security Belt’ forces comes under attack in Abyan province

Unknown attackers kill five soldiers in southern Yemen

Five soldiers were killed and a sixth was injured in an attack on a military checkpoint by unknown assailants in Yemen’s southern Abyan province, a local security source said Friday.

A Yemeni army colonel told Anadolu Agency that a checkpoint manned by the “Security Belt” forces, a United Arab Emirates-backed fighting unit, had come under attack by unknown gunmen in the Mudiyah District of Abyan’s ​​Al-Qawz region.

The assailants, he said, had targeted the checkpoint “with machine guns and medium-range rocket launchers”.

In the ensuing firefight, five soldiers were killed, along with several of the attackers, the source said, speaking anonymously as he was not authorized to speak to media.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the same source pointed the finger at the Al-Qaida terrorist group, which appears to maintain an active presence in southern Yemen.

Although local authorities declared Abyan to be free of Al-Qaida in August of last year, the group has continued to carry out sporadic attacks on Yemeni forces deployed in the country’s south.