By NY Staff
Two suicide bombers killed a Yemeni soldier as they blew up a vehicle at an elite Republican Guard camp Saturday, a week after a similar attack claimed by Al-Qaeda that left 26 dead, military sources said.
“The two suicide bombers who carried out the attack were killed as well as a Republican Guard,” a military official told AFP.
“Five other soldiers were also wounded” in the blast at the base in Bayda, 170 kilometres (105 miles) southwest of Sanaa and bordering Abyan province, an Al-Qaeda stronghold, the source added.
Witnesses said that the bomb attack devastated the three-storey building. The blast was followed by a gunbattle between gunmen and troops, military officials said.
The targeted Republican Guard troops are led by Ahmed Saleh, son of veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, who formally stepped down as president on Monday.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a presidential palace in Hadramawt province of southeast Yemen that killed 26 Republican Guards on February 25.
That attack came as President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took the oath of office as Saleh’s successor.
AQAP said the bombing of the palace in the Hadramawt provincial capital of Mukala was “a clear message to the US ambassador,” Gerald M. Feierstein, after alleged remarks he made “about restructuring the Yemeni army.”
“This is a message to say that the US project in Yemen will not succeed and that our operations will target this project and its tools wherever they may be,” AQAP said.
In an address to the nation straight after being sworn in, Hadi vowed to press the fight against Al-Qaeda and to restore security across his impoverished nation.
The Islamists took advantage of a decline in government control during 10 months of deadly anti-Saleh protests that led to his signing of a power transfer deal in November to seize large swathes of Yemen’s south and east.
“It is a patriotic and religious duty to continue the battle against Al-Qaeda,” the new president said. “If we don’t restore security, the only outcome will be chaos.”