Yemen: Several dead in attacks on Mukalla checkpoints

Security forces killed and many more wounded as two car bombs target checkpoints in former al-Qaeda stronghold.

    Two car bombs went off near army checkpoints in Yemen's southeastern city of Mukalla, killing several security personnel and wounding many more, sources have told Al Jazeera.

    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 [AQAP].

    General Faraj Salemine confirmed the attacks to the AFP news agency, 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.

    Mukalla attacks

    Yemen has been gripped by a devastating conflict that escalated in March last year when the coalition began air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels after northern and central parts of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, were seized.

    The fighting has caused a security vacuum that has allowed groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIL) to extend their influence and attack security forces.

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

    The Pentagon said in May that a "very small number" of US military personnel had been deployed around Mukalla to support pro-government forces.

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

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.