A handout image from Yemen’s Ministry of Defence shows Yemeni troops taking part in a military operation against suspected Al-Qaeda militants near the village of Maajala in the southern province of Abyan on May 1, 2014
Four Yemeni soldiers and five assailants were killed in an Al-Qaeda attack on a military base in the southern province of Abyan on Monday, a security source said.
A car rigged with explosives carrying five Al-Qaeda militants pulled up to a military base in the district of Mudiya in Abyan, the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Four men wearing explosive belts ran out of the car towards the base, but were all shot dead before they could blow themselves up, the source said.
The vehicle then exploded outside the base, killing the driver and four soldiers from a UAE-backed contingent in the Yemeni army. Nine soldiers were also wounded.
Yemen’s southern provinces, including Abyan, have seen a long-running US drone war against Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has flourished in the chaos of Yemen’s civil war pitting the Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Shiite Huthi rebels.
The United States, the only government to operate drones over the impoverished country, considers AQAP to be the radical group’s most dangerous branch and backs the UAE-trained contingent in southern Yemen.
The United Arab Emirates is a key component of a Saudi-led military coalition that intervened in the war to support Hadi’s government in 2015.
More than 8,600 people have since been killed in Yemen, according to the World Health Organization.
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