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ADEN, Yemen, Gunmen, suspected of belonging to the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, opened fire randomly, at a military checkpoint of the UAE-backed Yemeni troops in Abyan province on Tuesday.

The al-Qaeda assailants opened fire from automatic machines and hurled grenades, on a checkpoint manned by the UAE-backed Yemeni troops, in the district of Ahwar of Abyan province, leaving three soldiers killed.

The troops, positioned in the area, engaged in a short armed confrontation with the al-Qaeda gunmen, after the surprise attack, the security source added.

A few days ago, hundreds of elite counter-terrorism forces, recently trained by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were deployed in different areas of Abyan province, in an attempt to storm al-Qaeda hideouts.

Sources from the Aden-based 4th Military Region, confirmed that, the Yemeni troops, backed by armoured UAE vehicles, arrived in Abyan and started anti-terror operations that resulted in arresting a number of terrorists.

On Saturday, a prominent leader of the al-Qaeda group, named as Khalid Abdulnabi, voluntarily turned himself in to the emergency security forces, in the neighbouring southern province of Lahj.

Abdulnabi, who was later transferred to the central prison in Aden, is wanted by the Yemeni and American intelligence authorities. He also participated in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, along with former al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.


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