ADEN, Yemen, A total of five soldiers were killed and two others wounded, when a suicide car bomber targeted a Yemeni commander’s convoy, in the southern province of Abyan on Friday.

“A suicide bomber, driving an explosives-laden vehicle, attacked the motorcade of Abdul-Rahman Shnini, the Special Security Forces commander, in Abyan Province, killing five of his guards,” the local military official said.

The suicide attack that took place near the coastal city of Shuqra, apparently aimed at assassinating the commander, but he survived with only a slight injury, the source added.

The suicide attack comes just one day after a similar car bomb explosion by al-Qaeda injured 10 Yemeni officers and soldiers, in Abyan’s district of Mudiya.

Al-Qaeda militants are intensifying their drive-by attacks on security checkpoints, in the Yemeni southern provinces, as UAE-backed government forces increase military operations against their hideouts.

Last month, Yemeni government forces and the UAE armed forces operating in the southern province of Aden, launched a new anti-terror offensive “to root out al-Qaeda militants from their strongholds in the southern province of Abyan.”

Thousands of recruits joined the campaign, after receiving military training and financial support from the UAE.

The ongoing anti-terror campaign has dislodged al-Qaeda militants from several villages in Abyan, with more than 50 of them arrested and moved to prisons in Aden.

The Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, seen by the United States as the global terror network’s most dangerous wing, has been exploiting years of deadly conflict between Yemen’s government and Houthi rebels, to expand its presence, especially in Shabwa and Abyan provinces.



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