ADEN: Two suicide bombers tried to ram vehicles laden with explosives through two Yemeni military checkpoints near the government-held port city of Mukalla yesterday, killing at least 10 people, the army and medics said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks near the capital of Hadramout province on the Gulf of Aden, the latest in a series of bombings since forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by UAE troops, drove out Al-Qaeda militants from the city in April.
The Yemeni army’s Second Military Command, which is based in Mukalla, said militants had used a booby-trapped bus at a checkpoint in Al-Burum, southwest of Mukalla, and a booby-trapped car in Al-Ghaber, to the west. “Forces at the checkpoints were able to confront the vehicles and prevented them crossing the security barriers,” an army statement said. It said six soldiers had been killed and 18 wounded. Medics said four civilians were also dead, and that 15 soldiers had been taken to hospital, five in serious condition.
Militants from Al-Qaeda and its rival Islamic State have been building up their presence in the impoverished country, taking advantage of the chaos created by Yemen’s civil war, which began in 2014. Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch had built up a mini-state centred on Mukalla. It has tried to bomb several Western airliners and claimed responsibility for an attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last year. – Reuters