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Yemen soldiers killed in deadly suicide bombing

AQAP and IS have exploited the war to expand their presence in southern Yemen. [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 January, 2018

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The suicide bombing targeted a checkpoint manned by UAE-trained special operations forces in Ataq, the capital of the oil-rich province of Shabwa.

A suicide attack by suspected Islamic extremists killed fourteen soldiers in southern Yemen on Tuesday, a senior military official said.

The suicide bombing targeted a checkpoint manned by UAE-trained special operations forces in Ataq, the capital of the oil-rich province of Shabwa.

The attack is thought to be the work of Islamic extremists, a high-ranking Yemeni army source said, without providing further details.

Another military source in Shabwa said at least 10 people had been killed.

Shabwa is controlled by Yemen's Saudi-backed government, which has been locked in a fight against the country's Shiite Houthi rebels since 2014, and is also now battling separatists in the southern port city of Aden.

Extremist networks, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State group, have exploited the war to expand their presence in southern Yemen.

The UAE is a key member of a military alliance, led by Saudi Arabia, which for three years has provided crucial support for the government's fight for territorial control.

In August, Yemen's Emirati-trained Special Forces launched a US-backed operation against AQAP, also the target of a long-running US drone campaign.

The Yemen war has claimed more than 10,000 lives since Saudi Arabia and its military allies joined the conflict in March 2015, triggering what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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