Sat, 01 Apr 2023

ADEN, Yemen, March 14 (Xinhua) -- At least four members of Yemen's government forces were killed in an attack launched by al-Qaida militants in the country's southeastern province of Shabwa on Tuesday, a military official told Xinhua.

"A group of gunmen of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch launched an assault on Al-Safra point of the Fifth Brigade of Shabwa's local Defence troops, causing ferocious battle," the local military official said on condition of anonymity.

"The militants launched a coordinated assault on the checkpoint, using heavy weaponry and grenades, surrounding the soldiers and cutting off their escape routes," he said.

"However, reinforcements from other government troops in Shabwa arrived quickly on the scene and provided timely intervention support to the beleaguered troops at the checkpoint," he added.

The reinforcements engaged the attackers in a fierce firefight, eliminating six of the terror militants and bringing the situation under control, according to the official.

The checkpoint attack marks the latest in a series of similar attacks against government soldiers in the southern regions, with tensions continuing to rise between government forces and terrorists of al-Qaida.

Several areas in Shabwa and other neighboring southern provinces, have been a hotbed of activity for the al-Qaida group in recent months, with frequent clashes between government forces and militants.

The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula network has exploited years of deadly conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia to expand its presence in the war-ravaged Arab country. It has carried out many high-profile attacks against the security forces in the country's southern provinces.

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