Yemen soliders patrol the streets of Zinjibar
Yemeni soliders patrol the streets of Zinjibar in September 2011. © - AFP/File
Yemen soliders patrol the streets of Zinjibar
Last updated: December 4, 2011

Qaeda suspects kill five Yemen soldiers

Five Yemeni soldiers were killed in an attack by Al-Qaeda suspects on their post near the southern restive city of Zinjibar in Abyan province, a military official told AFP on Sunday.

"Al-Qaeda militants attacked a military barracks using rocket propelled grenades and machineguns east of Zinjibar... killing five soldiers" late on Saturday, the official said.

A medic at the military hospital in the main southern city of Aden confirmed that the facility had received the bodies of five soldiers.

The deaths were the latest in a string of casualties in Abyan.

Government forces are struggling to wrest control of at least three provincial cities, including Zinjibar, that since May have fallen to Al-Qaeda-linked militants known as the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law).

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its local affiliates have taken advantage of the government's distraction with 10 months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh to strengthen their hold on the country's south.

Despite months of clashes, government troops have so far been unable to win back full control of Abyan.

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