The ambush targeted an army convoy east of the city of Huta
An archive photo shows a Yemeni army patrol on the outskirts of Huta. Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen have killed an army officer and wounded two soldiers in an ambush in southern Yemen, a military official said. © - - AFP
The ambush targeted an army convoy east of the city of Huta
AFP
Last updated: March 25, 2012

Al Qaeda gunmen kill Yemeni officer

Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen have killed an army officer and wounded two soldiers in an ambush in southern Yemen, a military official said on Sunday.

The ambush, which took place on Saturday, targeted an army convoy east of the city of Huta in the province of Lahij, the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

The convoy was on its way to reinforce a checkpoint in the suburb of Hamra when it came under attack by Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen, who are active in the region, the official added.

A medical official at Aden's Basohayeb military hospital said the officer, Major Kamal al-Ashwal, died of a bullet wound to the stomach.

Locals have reported that Al-Qaeda gunmen are trying to take over Hamra.

In May, Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) overran the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, where the jihadist presence are strong.

The Islamists have exploited a central government weakened by a year of anti-regime protests to strengthen their grip, launching deadly attacks against security forces, especially across south and southeast Yemen.

The United States says the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is the most active branch of the global terror network.

Thirty-seven people, most of them suspected Al-Qaeda fighters, were killed in two days of violence across the country's south last week.

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