'Qaeda' ambush on Yemeni general kills two soldiers

AFP , Monday 29 Dec 2014

Two Yemeni soldiers were killed and 11 wounded Monday when Al-Qaeda militants ambushed a regional army chief in southeastern Hadramawt province, a military official said.

"Members of Al-Qaeda" set an ambush for the convoy of General Abdulrahman al-Hulaili, the head of the First Military Region, the official told AFP.

They detonated explosives planted on the roadside and opened fire as the convoy passed, but Hulaili escaped unscathed, the official added.

In central Baida city, two gunmen on a motorbike shot dead intelligence officer Nasser al-Wahishi, a local authority official said, adding that the assailants were suspected of belonging to Al-Qaeda.

The attacks come a day after a similar bombing targeted the commander of the 31st Armoured Battalion, General Farej al-Atiqi, in the southern city of Aden.

Atiqi escaped unharmed but his driver was killed and two bodyguards were wounded.

Security forces are often the targets of attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which the United States regards as the deadliest branch of the global extremist network.

AQAP has exploited the weakened central authority in Yemen since the 2012 departure of president Ali Abdullah Saleh following a year-long popular uprising.

The group's presence is strongest in the south and southeast of the impoverished country, but AQAP has also launched attacks in the capital itself.

In other unrest, a bomb planted in the car of Ali al-Sharif, a prominent Shiite Huthi chief in Marib, east of Sanaa, killed his son and a bodyguard, a local official said.

Yemen has been rocked by instability since the Shiite fighters, who are also known as Ansarullah, seized control of Sanaa on September 21.

The Huthis have since expanded their presence in central and western Yemen, but have met fierce resistance from Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda.

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