Several Dead in Attacks on Yemeni Checkpoints

Several Dead in Attacks on Yemeni CheckpointsSeveral Dead in Attacks on Yemeni Checkpoints

Two car bombs went off near army checkpoints in Yemen’s southeastern city of Mukalla, killing several security personnel and wounding many more.

The explosions on Monday morning targeted checkpoints in the east and west of the port city, a former stronghold of the local Al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Jazeera reported. General Faraj Salemine confirmed the attacks to AFP, saying “terrorists” had killed at least five soldiers. Other reports said that at least nine had been killed.

The capital of Hadramaout province, Mukalla had been under the control of AQAP for one year until pro-government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition recaptured it in April.

Yemen has been gripped by a devastating conflict that escalated in March last year when the coalition began airstrikes against Houthi forces after it took northern and central parts of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.

The fighting has caused a security vacuum that has allowed groups such as Al-Qaeda and the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) to extend their influence and attack security forces.

Last month, IS claimed a wave of suicide bombings aimed at Yemeni troops in Mukalla that killed at least 38 people.

The conflict has killed more than 6,400 people and displaced 2.8 million since March last year.