World News

At least 19 soldiers killed in al Qaeda attack in southern Yemen, sources

DUBAI (Reuters) - Islamist militant group al Qaeda attacked a military camp in southern Yemen on Friday, killing at least 19 soldiers, security sources said.

The attack is the second in as many days on a camp for the Yemeni Security Belt forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Western-backed Arab coalition battling Houthi rebels who control swathes of the country.

The al Qaeda militants briefly took control of the camp in the village of Al Mahfad in southern Abyan governorate before it was retaken hours later by Yemeni forces, the sources said.

On Thursday a car bomb exploded in a military camp for the Security Belt forces in the southern port city of Aden, killing 13 policemen.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement reported by the group’s news agency Amaaq on Friday.

IS said the attack killed and wounded tens of policemen, among them the head of the police station. The Interior ministry statement said only 13 had died.

The Sunni Muslim coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government that rules from Aden after being ousted from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014 by the Houthis.

The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran, which denies having any involvement in Yemen.

Reporting by Mohammed Mokhashef in Aden and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo; writing by Dahlia Nehme; Editing by Hugh Lawson