Security checkpoint by pro-STC forces (AFP)

Large Scale Armed Attack Targets Shabwa Defense Forces


Wed, 22-06-2022 02:18 PM, Aden

Ataq (South24)

Five soldiers were killed and at least five others wounded early this morning in an attack carried out by gunmen believed to be affiliated with AQAP. The attack targeted a security checkpoint in Shabwa governorate, South Yemen.

A source familiar with the details of the incident told "South24" that "about thirty gunmen launched a "terrorist" attack with automatic weapons on a security checkpoint for Shabwa Defense Forces (formerly the Shabwani Elite) near the entrance of Ataq city, killing five soldiers and wounding five others."

The source stated that the attack took place near a military site for the Special Forces at Al-Galfour area. The Special Forces are affiliate to the Islamic Islah Party that took control on the governorate from August 2019 until late December 2021.

The source believes that the attack would not have taken place without "collusion and a security breach." South24 was unable to verify the authenticity of these statements. Nor did AQAP or any other party claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

However, the attack came two days after AQAP had published a picture that it said was of their member “Younis al-Qasha'ri,” who had been killed by the security forces [Shabwa Defense Forces] last May, according to the Saudi newspaper Okaz.

On May 31, 2022 and June 1, 2022, AQAP carried out two separate attacks against the Shabwa Defense Forces in Ataq and in Mayfa'a district. The two attacks resulted in the death and injury of a number of soldiers.

AQAP has recently intensified its attacks on the pro-STC security forces in Shabwa governorate.

According to armed group experts, this escalation came after the appointment of the new governor, "Awad Al-Awlaki", the return of the Shabwa Defense Forces, and the presence of a serious approach to eradicating terrorism.

Shabwa Defense Forces (formerly Shabwa Elite) have fought extensive battles against ISIS hideouts in the governorate over the past years.

In Abyan, the Aden-based Al-Ayyam newspaper said that an ambush on yesterday's evening was set up by suspected AQAP member targeted a military patrol on the highway between the Shuqra and Ahwar districts in Abyan governorate, killing three soldiers, wounding a fourth, and kidnapping two others.

Local sources told "South24" that the two kidnapped soldiers were also killed, bringing the total death toll to five.

South24 Center for News and Studies

South YemenAQAPShabwaSTCElite ForcesShabwa Defense