An improvised explosive device (IED) planted by suspected al-Qaeda elements targeted a vehicle Tuesday (June 11th) that was carrying Security Belt Forces in Yemen's al-Mahfad district, Abyan province, killing two soldiers and wounding three others.
This is the second attack in four days in the district, local media reported. The first attack on June 7th involved an IED that targeted a group of the Security Belt Forces as they walked to a mosque for Friday prayers.
Three soldiers were wounded in that attack and were transported to Ataq hospital in neighbouring Shabwa province for treatment.
"Al-Qaeda elements are trying to exact revenge against the Security Belt Forces through the use of IEDs," al-Mahfad director-general Ahmed al-Rabie told al-Mashareq.
The UAE-backed forces have increased their presence in Abyan province -- particularly in al-Mahfad district -- where some al-Qaeda elements are still hiding and carry out small attacks from time to time.
Those elements are no longer able to carry out large-scale attacks against the security forces and resort instead to planting IEDs in smaller, isolated attacks, al-Rabie said.
However, he warned against the use of IEDs, which are planted on public roads, saying "they threaten civilian lives", and urged locals for more co-operation with the Security Belt Forces.
"The attacks carried out by al-Qaeda elements are the result of increased security measures by the Security Belt Forces in al-Mahfad and other districts of Abyan province," he added.
Walid Meghaileb, Commander of the Rapid Intervention Forces in Abyan, told a local news website during a June 6th inspection visit to a number of security checkpoints in Mudiyah district that counter-terrorism efforts would continue.
"The forces deployed to security posts and checkpoints in Mudiyah and its suburbs are working on establishing security and stability and normalising the situation after the district was cleared of terrorists," he said.
"The Security Belt Forces and Rapid Intervention Forces in Abyan have made huge successes in fighting terrorist and extremist groups in different districts of Abyan," he said.
"These successes and victories were achieved thanks to the support provided by Arab coalition forces, especially the UAE, as part of efforts to restore stability and security to liberated provinces," he added.