Islamists attack Yemeni airport as bomber hits army base - sources

ADEN Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:27am EDT

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ADEN (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants attacked an airport in the eastern Yemeni city of Seiyun early on Thursday, killing at least one soldier and occupying parts of the building, sources at the scene said.

At around the same time, security officials said a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into the entrance of an army base, killing four soldiers in the city in Hadramawt province - a territory that holds some of the country's dwindling oil reserves.

Two militants were killed before security forced the attackers out of the airport, the sources told Reuters.

Washington and Gulf countries are worried that further instability in Yemen could allow Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the group's local wing, to consolidate its position and launch attacks overseas.

AQAP and allied local Islamists have staged attacks on government forces across the country, including many assassinations and car bombs in Hadramawt.

The province and other parts of the former nation of South Yemen have also been rocked by mass protests by a separatist movement.

Seiyun's airport only had two scheduled flights on Thursday, one to Yemen's capital Sanaa and the other to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, according to flightstats.com.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf and Mohammed Ghobari; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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