Terrorism

Al-Qaeda attacks military checkpoint in Yemen's Abyan

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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Fighters with Yemen's Security Belt Force are seen in a reinforcements convoy heading from the southern city of Aden to Abyan province on November 26th, 2019. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Al-Qaeda elements have attacked a military checkpoint of the Security Belt Forces in Abyan's al-Mahfad district, killing, wounding and capturing several soldiers.

On Wednesday (January 1st), al-Qaeda elements led by al-Qaeda emir Zaki Laashab attacked Dhahiman checkpoint in al-Mahfad district, the Morale Guidance Department of the Security Belt Forces in Abyan said in a statement.

They killed two Security Belt Forces soldiers -- Salem Hadi Mohammed Saeed and Ahmed Salem Saeed Labghath -- and wounded two others, the statement said.

They also captured two soldiers, Qais Ahmed Ashish and Hussein Awadh al-Hanshi, who were taken to an unknown location.

Commenting on the attack, political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq the "terrorists" are exploiting the conflict between the Security Belt Forces and the legitimate government's national army to carry out new attacks.

"The UN Special Envoy to Yemen had warned of the danger of al-Qaeda exploiting the conflict between the Security Belt Forces and national army as a result of delays in implementing the military aspect of the Riyadh Agreement, which was signed in early November," he said.

The Security Belt Forces have recently carried out security and military campaigns to clear al-Mahfad of al-Qaeda elements, and that is why al-Qaeda is targeting them, he said.

Ahmed warned that al-Qaeda will try to carry out more operations against the Security Belt Forces and national army, urging the Arab Coalition, Yemeni government and Southern Transitional Council to expedite the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement to deny al-Qaeda any chance to carry out new attacks.

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