SANAA: A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed car into a Yemeni army checkpoint on Friday killing nine soldiers, a military source said, blaming Al-Qaeda for the attack.
The attack was mounted near the city of Qoton in southeastern Yemen’s vast desert province of Hadramawt where Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operates.
The military source said the dead soldiers were members of an army division loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Hadi was forced out of the country after Shiite Huthi rebels last year seized the capital Sanaa and challenged the government’s authority.
In March, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the Huthis and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in a bid to restore the authority of Hadi, who has taken refuge in Riyadh.
AQAP, considered by Washington to be the extremist network’s most dangerous franchise, announced the death in June of its Yemen commander, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, in a US drone strike.
The group has taken advantage of the chaos gripping Yemen to make territorial gains in the south, including the seizure of Mukalla, capital of Hadramawt province, in April.