Ten UAE-backed Yemeni troops killed in 'extremist attack'

Ten UAE-backed Yemeni troops killed in 'extremist attack'
Yemeni troops aligned to the UAE have been killed in an attack believed to have been carried out by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
2 min read
29 March, 2018
Pro-government forces have come under fire from AQAP [file photo-Getty]

Ten Yemeni UAE-backed fighters have been killed in an attack by gunmen in the southwest of the country, AFP reported Wednesday.

The troops who are trained and backed by the UAE were killed in an attack by "armed Islamist extremists" on a military post in the Hajr district of the port city Mukalla.

Five gunmen were also killed in the attack, while ten soldiers were also pronounced dead. 

Mukalla is controlled by forces connected to the Saudi-backed government since 2016, when al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen - known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] - withdrew from the city. 

Although the UAE is a key member of a Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, although there have been frictions in the alliance.

UAE forces have links to southern separatist forces and are aiding forces engaged in a battle against AQAP in the south.

These include brigades stationed in Mukalla known as "Quwat al-Nokhba" and were key to driving AQAP out of Mukalla in April 2016.

The Yemen civil war has seen groups such as AQAP and the Islamic State group expand their presence in southern Yemen.

Military outposts have been targeted and suicide bombings and armed attacks by AQAP.

Instability and Houthi aggression have seen al-Qaeda expand in parts of the country.