Yemeni Officials Say al-Qaeda Killed Six Troops in Checkpoint Attack

Monday incident was previously reported as targeting separatists

A group of militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked a checkpoint in the Abyan Province on Monday night, killing at least 6 people. On Monday, the slain were identified as southern separatists, though now officials are calling them troops.

The incident took place in the Lawdar District, a small site in Abyan, in the far south of Yemen. Abyan has often been contested by several groups, including AQAP, who held the province at one point during the Arab Spring.

Officials say the soldiers slain were trained by the United Arab Emirate, which is probably why they were labeled separatists, and that the AQAP fighters used rocket-propelled grenades during the attack on the checkpoint.

It is unusual for AQAP to attack forces in Yemen lately, especially in the south. Early in the Saudi invasion, the AQAP was mostly siding with the invasion force against the Shi’ite Houthis, though their involvement in the war quickly became limited.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.