At least six soldiers of a new anti-jihadist force formed by the UAE were killed and others were abducted Wednesday (August 2nd) in an al-Qaeda suicide bombing in southern Yemen, a Yemeni military official said.
The suicide bomber blew up his vehicle next to a military position recently set up by the Yemeni force in Shabwa province, the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Two vehicles belonging to the anti-jihadist force were destroyed in the attack, which left an undetermined number of wounded while other soldiers were abducted by al-Qaeda members supporting the suicide bomber, he added.
The official said the victims belong to an "elite unit" set up by the UAE, one of the key partners in the Saudi-led coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi against Houthi (Ansarallah) militias.
Al-Qaeda elements also attacked a vacant security headquarters in Abyan province's Mahfad district on Wednesday, causing no casualties, said deputy Abyan governor Abdul Aziz al-Hamza.
"Al-Qaeda gunmen have blown up a deserted, vacant building that had been used by the emergency forces in the past," he told Al-Mashareq.
Al-Hamza said that earlier this week local authorities have started deploying additional armed forces in the province to help establish security.
"Abyan’s government and local authorities are proceeding with efforts to normalise conditions and impose the state's authority with all of its civil, security and military institutions," he said.
Prime Minister Ahmad Obaid bin Dagher visited Abyan early Wednesday as part of efforts to reinstate services and improve living conditions in the province.
Speaking at a graduation of military and security units, bin Dagher reiterated that Yemen will continue to fight terror groups and will not allow terrorist presence in the country.