Yemen al-Qaeda Kills 12 at Southern Checkpoint

Attackers killed eight separatists, four civilians

A dawn attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) saw the group hit a military checkpoint in the Abyan Province in the far south. The checkpoint was manned by UAE-backed southern separatists.

AQAP fired grenades and machine guns at the checkpoint, killing eight militia members and four civilians. The attackers all got away after the strike. Separatists confirmed the death toll.

AQAP is in the habit of attacking multiple factions in Yemen, not just the Houthi rebels and the separatists, but also the Saudi-backed government forces. At times, AQAP allies with government groups to move against the Shi’ites, but at other times they’re hostile.

AQAP has been trying to define a new place for itself in Yemen, hoping both to use fighting in Maarib to increase its presence there and to hit other areas in which they’ve at times operated.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.