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Abyan: 21 Soldiers of the Southern Forces Killed in an AQAP attack


Tue, 06-09-2022 04:39 PM, Aden

Abyan (South24)

Today, AQAP launched a large-scale attack targeting the Southern forces in Abyan governorate, east of Aden.

According to a source in the Security Belt Forces who spoke to "South24", 21 soldiers, including a senior commander, were killed and four others were wounded in the attack that targeted a security checkpoint on the international route in Ahwar district.

According to the Southern forces, the commander of the 1st Battalion in the Counter-terrorism Brigade, Yasser Nasser Shaye, was killed in the attack, which started earlier this morning and lasted for three hours, along with a number of his companions.

The governorate's Security Belt forces announced that 6 members of the extremist organization were killed in the attack, and one member was detained. In addition, two military vehicles used by AQAP members were seized.

Pictures published by the Security Belt showed the dead bodies of some of the AQAP's members in the attack. One of photo included an member wearing a black uniform bearing the organization's name "Ansar al-Sharia".

The Southern forces said that a number of AQAP members fled to Ahwar district mountains after the attack, while units from the Security Belt and Southern forces pursued other memberin the Mojan area.

AQAP has not yet announced responsibility for the attack.

The Yemeni Ministry of Interior expressed their condemnation and mourn the death of 21 members of the Security Belt Forces in the attack.

On Tuesday evening, the Yemeni Ministry of Interior mourned the Security Belt members who were killed in the attack, describing the operation as "terrorist." According to the Ministry's statement, which was published by the Yemeni news agency Saba, the Ministry warned "anyone harboring these members or covering them from legal accountability."

Yemeni prime minister called the Governor of Abyan to brief on "the ongoing efforts to track down terrorist members, and the painful looses they received during the past days."

Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Mohsen al-Daari said that "the treacherous terrorist attack that targeted a security checkpoint in Ahwar Abyan will not deter the armed forces from fighting terrorist organizations and pursuing their members," according to Saba.

For its part, the Southern Armed Forces and the STC mourned the Abyan attack, and the death of the commander of the Fourth Brigade of the Backup and Support forces, Brigadier General Hadar al-Shouti, on Tuesday, by a Houthi sniper at the border front of Yafa with the Houthi-controlled Al-Bayda governorate.

A statement published by the STC's official website stated that "the coward terrorist attack that targeted the security checkpoint of the Security Belt forces in Ahwar district confirms the extent of the painful strikes inflicted by our forces on terrorist organizations and their members".

According to the statement, the battle "with terrorism in its various forms will continue, and will not stop until every inch of the land of South is cleansed from the danger of terrorist organizations, and its borders are secured from the Houthi militias."

Late on Tuesday night, the Islamic Islah Party also condemned the attack. The party, whose forces had earlier engaged in a confrontation with the Southern forces, said that "the state must build the security institution on a national basis as the only solution to ensure security and stability."

The attack suspected to be by AQAP is considered the first and most violent in Abyan since the announcement of the "Eastern Arrows" military operation, on August 22nd, which targeted the organization's presence in the central region of the governorate.

On August 28, AQAP released an audio statement concerning the recent events in Shabwa governorate, which led to the expulsion of pro-Islah forces from the governorate.

The organization attacked the STC and the Southern forces, and accused the country's new Presidential Council of weakness and failure. The statement said that the Saudi-led Coalition seeks to divide Yemen and supports the secession of South.

The statement, broadcast by the organization's Al-Malahem media platform, vowed to fight the Southern forces, and also warned against a repetition of what happened in Shabwa in the governorates of Marib, Hadramout, and Al-Mahra.

On August 31, armed men suspected of belonging to AQAP assassinated the senior commander the Shabwa Defense Forces, Captain Abu Bakr Salem Al-Dawli, and his companion in an ambush in Nisab district, north of Shabwa.

Less than a week later, two soldiers were killed and three others were wounded from the Shabwa Defense Forces in an attack by suspected AQAP members targeting a military vehicle in Markha district, on September 5th.

Shabwa governorate witnessed, in early August, military tensions following the "rebellion" of pro-Islah officers and commanders against the local authority in the governorate, which led to violent clashes in the city of Ataq.

On August 10, after days of confrontation with various types of weapons, the Southern forces took control of the city of Ataq, and the pro-Islah forces fled to Marib, Wadi Hadramout and the outskirts of Shabwa.

On August 12, the Islah party issued a statement denouncing the expulsion of its forces from Shabwa and threatening to withdraw from the Presidential Council and the Yemeni government if the Governor of Shabwa Awad Al-Awlaki was not dismissed.

South24 Center

South YemenAbyanAQAPCounter-terrorismSTCSecurity Belt