A planned “military assault” in Yemen’s Shabwa Province quickly turned into a battle, when troops were caught up in an ambush by fighters from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
What followed was a day-long battle throughout the region, with hundreds of tribal fighters coming to the side of the government to try to fend off AQAP gunmen.
In the end, 18 Yemeni soldiers and 12 AQAP gunmen were reported killed, according to provincial officials. Yemen’s Defense Ministry provided no details on its casualties, but claimed “dozens” of AQAP killed or injured.
One tribal leader reported that a number of Yemeni soldiers were also taken hostage in the fighting, and have yet to be recovered. The Yemeni DM did not mention that in their statement either, insisting only that there was “no turning back” in destroying AQAP nationwide.