Three Yemeni troops killed in shooting

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Yemeni government official has said that three soldiers with the national army were killed in an attack earlier today, southeast of the capital, Sanaa.

According to reports, armed men started firing at a checkpoint in the province of Shabwa, where security forces are conducting operations against suspected rebels for al-Qaeda.

"Three soldiers were killed and one was injured when unknown armed people believed to belong to the southern movement attacked a checkpoint at the entrance to the city of Ataq," said an unnamed official to the Reuters news agency. He commented that the alleged attackers escaped following the shooting.

The incident occurred several days before a scheduled meeting in London, where members of 21 countries will discuss the resurgent al-Qaeda affiliate in Pakistan, in the light of the failed alleged December 25 bombing of a US flight bound from Amsterdam to Detroit. The Yemeni al-Qaeda said that it had armed the man accused of trying to blow the plane up, a Nigerian.

Yemen declared open war against al-Qaeda after the incident, and launched airstrikes against the group, which are claimed to have killed six members.

The Yemeni government is currently battling secessionists in the country's south, as well as the Houthi rebels in the north.