SANAA: Suspected Al Qaeda fighters killed at least 56 soldiers and policemen in a wave of dawn attacks on Friday, the deadliest day for Yemeni security forces since militant strongholds fell last year.
The militant assaults came in the southern province of Shabwa, a bastion of Al Qaeda and the scene of regular US drone attacks targeting insurgents.
Al Qaeda claimed the attacks in a statement posted on Internet forums.
Military and government officials said there were four attacks in all, including one on a key gas export terminal that was foiled.
Thirty-eight soldiers were killed in Friday’s deadliest single attack, on an army camp responsible for ensuring security at Shabwa oilfields, the sources said.
“Troops clashed with gunmen at the camp entrance, before a suicide attacker in a bomb-laden vehicle forced his way into the camp where his car exploded, killing 38 soldiers,” said a government official in Ataq.
Simultaneously, “a suicide bomber in a car blew himself up before reaching his target — an army checkpoint” in the nearby Al Nushaima area, a military official said, adding that 10 soldiers were killed in that blast.
In Maifaa, gunmen targeted a security forces camp, killing around eight policemen.