Qaeda attacks Yemen army post, 9 dead
March 04, 2012
ADEN: Al Qaeda militants on Sunday tried to overrun an army post in Yemen's restive Abyan province, sparking a fierce firefight in which nine soldiers were killed and several captured, medics and officials said.
The firefight in Kud district of Abyan also left six soldiers wounded, a medic said.
"The hospital has received the bodies of six soldiers," said the medic from Bashib military hospital in the southern city of Aden, adding that the wounded soldiers had also been brought to the facility.
A military official, who confirmed that the casualties arose from clashes between the army and Al Qaeda militants in Kud, south of Abyan's provincial capital Zinjibar, confirmed the toll.
But "there are other casualties among the army who have not been taken out of the area," the official added. A local official in Kud said that Al Qaeda gunmen had taken away the bodies of three other soldiers they had killed.
Many soldiers were also taken captive by the extremists, the local official added.
The military official could not say whether the extremists had managed to take command of the army post but said troops in surrounding areas had rushed to join the battle.
Another army official said that the militants had seized heavy weapons, accusing some army leaders who had served under the rule of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh of "collaborating" with Al Qaeda.
Sunday's attack followed clashes during the night between the army and militants in Zinjibar in which four Al Qaeda fighters were killed, according to army officials.