By Fatik Al-Rodain
SANA'A, March 7, 2012- At least one soldier was killed and four others were wounded, two of them in critical condition, in an attack believed to be conducted by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's southern province of Shabwa.
Eyewitnesses said that arm militants attacked a patrol vehicle, while it was in route to Mora Camp coming from the Ateq district in the Shabwa province, killing at least one soldier and injuring four others.
No more details were reported.
Suicide car bombs and violent attacks against the army have increased over the past two weeks. On Sunday AQAP attacked two military bases in southern province of Abyan killing and wounding dozens and capturing scores more.
A deadly suicide bombing targeted two weeks ago the presidential palace in the southern province of Hadhramout killing nearly 30 Republican Guards, the same day when Hadi was sworn in at the parliament. The Al-Qaeda wing claimed responsibility for the attack in the following day.
The AQAP attacks underscore the challenges facing the new president who won support from major political forces, the United States and Saudi Arabia. He is tasked with restoring security and stability to Yemen and putting an end to growing influence of Al-Qaeda that threatens the daily oil shipping routes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
Moreover, in Yemen southeast province of Al-Baydha, a provincial security official and witnesses, said that at least 1000 of AQAP operatives gathered in many cities in a readiness to fight against Yemen government forces in an attempt to expand its hold over province. Yemen Interior Ministry warned in its website the authorities in the province saying that surprise attacks were being planned.
On Monday afternoon Al-Qaeda militants took over a security outpost outside the province's central city of Al-Baydha, where they killed a soldier and wounded five others.
Separately, Yemen Interior Ministry affirmed that it had put the security forces in alert in Aden and Lahj provinces with the aim of repelling any attempts of Al-Qaeda to repeat the Abyan massacre.
The Interior Minister Abduk-Kadir Qahtan had directed to send two military units of the Central Security to maintain security and stability in the governorates, as per affirmed in the website.
In a statement, the ministry said it received information about the growth of Al-Qaeda in some southern areas, pointing out that the new Commander of the Southern Region requested sending reinforcements in order to protect the nation interests.