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Qaeda suicide bomber kills four Yemen troops

AFP , Thursday 18 Aug 2016
A member of the Yememi government forces stands in the back of an armed vehicle in Zinjibar on August 16, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

An Al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed four Yemeni soldiers in an attack Thursday in the southern Abyan province, where government forces have launched an anti-jihadist offensive, a military official said.

The attacker rammed his car into two military vehicles parked on a road linking the towns of Loder and Moudia in Abyan province, the source said.

"Four soldiers were killed and others were wounded," the official told AFP.

The attack came after troops recaptured both towns from the jihadists who fled to surrounding mountains as the army entered, residents said.

Military sources said the bombing was a retaliation attack by Al-Qaeda after government troops recaptured parts of Abyan, including provincial capital Zinjibar.

Government forces, backed by air power from a Saudi-led coalition, launched the offensive to retake Abyan on Sunday, after they failed to recapture the vast province earlier this year.

Al-Qaeda and Islamic State group jihadists have exploited a power vacuum in Yemen to expand their presence in the country's south and southeast.

Yemeni authorities had trained hundreds of soldiers in the nearby province of Aden over the past two months to retake Abyan.

The Arab coalition, which intervened against Iran-backed rebels in March last, began supporting the government's war on jihadists this year.

The United States has also pressed a drone war against them.

Washington considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, to be the extremist network's deadliest franchise.

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