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Seven killed in Al Qaeda attack in Yemen

Sanaa: Four army soldiers and three Al Qaida fighters were killed in an armed attack on a military hospital in Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramout Saturday, a government official said.

“The assailants, an armed squad of the Al Qaeda group, opened fire at the soldiers charged with guarding the el-Battenah military hospital in Abar region of Hadramout province, triggering armed clashes that left four soldiers and three attackers dead at the scene,” the local government official sid on condition of anonymity.

“The Al Qaeda gunmen were aiming to take control of the military hospital, but the army troops repulsed them after an hour-long clash,” the official added.

A police officer confirmed the incident to Xinhua, saying that “army soldiers from the 37th Armored Brigade have managed to foil an al-Qaida terrorist attack against a key military-run hospital in Hadramout.”

The armed and security forces began hunting the Al Qaeda terrorists in Hadramout and launched an investigation into the attack, the police officer said.

On Thursday, armed attacks took place at the First Military Region headquarters and the Seiyun local airport in Hadramout province, killing at least nine and wounding 12.

There was no claim of responsibility for the armed attack, but Yemeni military officials blamed militants of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda offshoot for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country’s southern parts.

The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.