Suspected al-Qaida gunmen attack local gov't in Yemen, 5 killed

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-7-3 21:32:08

Suspected al-Qaida militants launched an armed attack on Thursday against a local government complex in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, leaving at least two soldiers and three assailants dead, a police officer told Xinhua.

"The local government headquarters came under heavy fire by rocket-propelled grenades from al-Qaida, two soldiers and three attackers were killed in the exchange of gunfire," the local police officer said on condition of anonymity.

"The situation is now under control," the police source added.

Suspected al-Qaida militants have also raided the house of al- Bayda's deputy governor, but police forces managed to repel the assault, according to the Yemeni police source.

Earlier in the day, a Yemeni military official in southeastern Hadramout province told Xinhua that "a group of al-Qaida gunmen attacked a security checkpoint located near the Seiyun's local airport, sparking armed clashes in the area."

The militants attempted to raid the airport for a second time in less than a month after army and security reinforcements arrived in the area, the military official said.

On Wednesday, a senior Yemeni security officer was assassinated by unknown gunmen riding a motorbike in Yemen's southern province of Taiz.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemeni military officials blamed militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country's southern parts.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, which emerged in January 2009, is considered one of the greatest threats to the Yemeni government and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Posted in: Mid-East

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