Officials: Militants ambush security post in Yemen; 8 killed

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SANAA, Yemen (TSWT) — Suspected al-Qaeda militants attacked a security post in a southern province of Yemen on Wednesday, sparking clashes that left five soldiers and three militants dead, officials said.

The early morning attack took place in Ataq, the capital of mountainous Shabwa province, officials said. At least four other soldiers were injured in the attack, said officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press.

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No group claimed responsibility for the ambush, which targeted a post held by troops loyal to the Southern Secessionist Transitional Council, they said. The separatist council is backed by the United Arab Emirates and controls much of southern Yemen. It contradicts the internationally recognized government.

Officials said reinforcements had been sent to the strategic town, a gateway to the oil fields and desert approaches to the Saudi border, the officials said, adding that al-Qaeda militants operate in the area. area and are suspected of being behind the attack.

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Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has long been considered the most dangerous branch of the global network and has attempted to carry out attacks in the Americas.

AQAP, along with an affiliate of the Islamic State group, is active in several parts of Yemen and has taken advantage of the years-long civil war to make inroads.

The war in Yemen pits the Iran-backed Houthi rebels against the internationally recognized government, which is aided by a Saudi-led coalition. The UAE is part of the coalition.

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