Al-Qaeda militants have seized control of a critical army base in southern Yemen, following battles with base soldiers that left more than eight dead, military spokesman stated. Officials say at least four militants and four soldiers perished during the skirmish and 15 soldiers were taken hostage by the extremist group. The military base belongs to the Yemeni 19th Infantry Brigade located in the southern Shabwa province.
A statement was posted under the Al-Qaeda Twitter account that explained the attack on the Yemeni base was due to speculation that Shiite rebels were looking to establish further, stronger presence in southern Yemen, after taking control of Sanaa, the capital city. The Shiite rebels, also known as Houthis, are fundamental adversaries of Al-Qaeda, but also oppose western philosophy, as well as the United States’ involvement in the region.
A statement was released by the Al-Qaeda group that one of its fighters detonated a suicide bomb, starting the gunfight. Moreover, the army base troops eventually surrendered, though have recently been freed.
By: Alex Lemieux
Picture: Francesco Veronesi – Flickr License