Suspected al-Qaida explosion kills 6 troops loyal to secessionist group in Yemen


SANAA, Yemen (AP) — An explosive device detonated and killed six troops loyal to a United Arab Emirates-backed secessionist group Monday in southern Yemen, a military spokesman said, the latest attack blamed on al-Qaida militants in the impoverished Arab country.

The explosion hit a military vehicle as it passed in a mountainous area in the Modiyah district of southern Abyan province, said Mohamed al-Naqib, a spokesman for the Southern Armed Forces, the military arm of the secessionist Southern Transitional Council.

Eleven other troops were wounded, he added.

The UAE-backed council controls much of Yemen’s south. It is at odds with the internationally recognized government, although they are allies in Yemen’s yearslong war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who control the north and the capital Sanaa.

Al-Naqib blamed al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, for the attack.

AQAP is seen as one of the more dangerous branches of the terror group still operating more than a decade after the killing of founder Osama bin Laden.

It is active in several regions in Yemen, exploiting the country’s civil war to cement its presence in the nation at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen’s ruinous civil war began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital of Sanaa and much of northern Yemen and forced the internationally recognized government into exile.

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