Eight people were killed today, six of them soldiers, and 17 others wounded, including top Yemeni General Abdul-Rahman al-Halili, in a suicide bomb against his military convoy near the city of al-Qatn, in eastern Yemen.
Gen. Halili is the commander of Yemen’s First Military Region, and was on a trip to inspect troops in the area when his convoy was attacked. There has as yet been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, but officials believe the general was the main target.
The most likely culprit would be al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as al-Qatn is due north of the port city of Mukallah, which up until the last few weeks was AQAP’s largest holding in the country. After losing the city, AQAP forces fled into Hadrawmut Province, where the attack took place.
The state news agency for the southern Yemeni faction with which Halili is affiliated, the pro-Saudi government forces, claimed Halili was fine after the attack, and visited other, more seriously wounded soldiers at al-Seyoun’s hospital, a nearby city which is where the First Region is based.