Suspected al-Qaeda suicide bombing kills Yemeni soldier

Suspected al-Qaeda suicide bombing kills Yemeni soldier
A suspected al-Qaeda militant blew himself up in the south-eastern Yemeni province of Hadramawt, a security official said on Wednesday.

2 min read
10 May, 2017
Yemen's security forces have been regularly targeted by militant groups [Getty]

A Yemeni soldier was killed when a suspected al-Qaeda militant detonated a bomb vest in the south-eastern province of Hadramawt, a security official said on Wednesday.

Six other people, including three civilians, were wounded when the suicide bomb targeted a checkpoint in the village of Duaan, some 300 kilometres (186 miles) north-west of the port city of Mukalla, the official said.

The attack comes days after government forces - backed by the Saudi-led coalition - mounted an operation against al-Qaeda militants suspected of being behind the recent bombing of two abandoned police stations.

Al-Qaeda militants remain active in the vast region of Hadramawt after taking advantage of more than two years of conflict between the government and Houthi rebels.

The US has intensified its air attacks on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch which Washington considers to be the most dangerous franchise in the global terror network.

AQAP has carried out numerous attacks against both sides in the conflict, however the situation on the ground is much more nuanced. According to conflict analysts, Yemen's government has a history of secretly working with AQAP, using it for its own means. 

It did so under former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and this clandestine relationship appears to have continued under Hadi.

When AQAP left the southern port city of Mukalla in April 2016, the Saudi-led coalition declared it a military success.

But reports said there was no fighting. Instead, Hadi's government negotiated with al-Qaeda fighters, allowing them a safe passage out of the city.

The US intervention's stated goal is to kill AQAP leaders, and Washington currently offers a $5 million bounty for the capture of Qasim al-Rimy. Having al-Raimy's militants fight on its side would be highly embarrassing for the US and its allies.

The US-drone campaign, which killed at least 600 people since it started in 2011, has fuelled anti-American sentiments among the civilian population.