Yemeni authorities sent more soldiers to the coastal town of Balhaf Saturday, a day after an alleged Al-Qaeda plot to attack a key gas terminal was foiled, a security official said.
The thwarted attack came after three other simultaneous assaults killed scores of security personnel in the lawless southern Al-Qaeda stronghold of Shabwa province, where Balhaf is also located.
“A 170-strong army force arrived at Balhaf” country’s only port for exporting liquefied natural gas.”On Sunday, the troops were deployed at the checkpoints that were targeted in Friday’s attacks and new checkpoints will be set up,” the security source said.
By NY Staff
Friday’s deadliest single attack was on an army camp responsible for ensuring security at Shabwa oilfields, the military said. The defense ministry in Sanaa said a fourth Al-Qaeda attempt to detonate explosives targeting the Balhaf terminal ended in failure.
Security forces intercepted a vehicle which exploded, “killing the terrorists it was carrying,” said the ministry’s 26sep.net news website, without specifying how many militants died.
The authorities blamed Friday’s bloodshed on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), described by Washington, which strongly condemned Friday’s attacks, as the jihadist network’s deadliest franchise. Witnesses told AFP Saturday that Yemeni jets flew over Balhaf and surrounding areas without carrying out any raids.