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Iran Press TV

Al-Qaeda-linked militants overrun army camp in south Yemen

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:33AM

Al-Qaeda-linked militants have launched an attack against a government army base in Yemen's volatile southern province of Shabwa, taking full control of the site, local government officials say.

The terrorist Ansar al-Sharia said in a Twitter statement on Thursday that its members had fully seized the camp of the 19th Infantry Brigade in the town of Beihan, located 320 kilometers southeast of the capital, Sana'a.

The Takfiri militant group also criticized the Yemeni army for collaborating with the country's Shia Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Tribal sources in Shabwa confirmed the capture, saying the Ansar al-Sharia militants captured the base after a gun battle with government troops. At least seven people were reportedly killed in the process.

Over the past months, al-Qaeda militants have frequently carried out attacks on Yemen's security forces. The militants have also been engaged in battles with the Shia Ansarullah fighters.

The central government in Sana'a has so far failed in efforts to rid the country of the threat from the terrorists.

Ansarullah fighters, who played a major role in ousting Yemen's former dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, have intervened to fill the vacuum and have driven al-Qaeda militants out of many areas in the country.

Ali al-Emad, an Ansarullah leader, recently said Saudi Arabia supports armed al-Qaeda extremists in order to control oil and service centers in the Yemeni provinces of Marib and Hadhramaut.

He added that Riyadh seeks to prevent changes in Yemen for fear of possible impacts on the ongoing policies pertaining to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

MP/HJL/HMV



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