Qaeda ambush kills at least 20 Yemeni soldiers

militants in Yemen

militants in Yemen

Al-Qaeda militants killed at least 20 Yemeni soldiers on Saturday when they ambushed their convoy in the south of the war-torn country, a military source said.

“Armed members of Al-Qaeda ambushed a group of young soldiers travelling in three civilian vehicles in the province of Abyan, killing at least 20 of them,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

The jihadists ordered the soldiers to get out of the vehicles and shot them early in the morning in the town of Ahwar, the source told AFP.

The soldiers were young recruits who were being deployed as part of the internationally recognised government’s efforts to restore security to areas under its control.

Yemen has been at war since September 2014, when Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies drove the government out of Sanaa and much of the country’s north.

The Huthis controlled Aden, the main city in southern Yemen, for months before government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition pushed them back in July.

Jihadists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have taken advantage of the chaos to strengthen their grip on southern Yemen.

But after having long ignored them, forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi have launched operations against them in the past few weeks.

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