27 dead as Al-Qaida launches attack on Yemen separatists

ADEN: 21 separatist fighters and six members of Al-Qaida‘S Yemen Government and security sources said the branch was killed on Tuesday by an attack by jihadists that disrupted months of relative peace in the war-torn country.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked positions held by the UAE-trained Security Belt group in the southern province of Abyan, sources told AFP.
The violence comes just days after the jihadist group released a video showing a UN worker being kidnapped by the group in the province more than six months ago.
About three hours of fighting “leaved 21 people dead in the (Security Belt), including one officer and six of the Al-Qaeda fighters,” a government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Two security sources confirmed the death toll.
Yemen has been plagued by conflict since Iran-backed Huthi rebels took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, triggering a Saudi-led military intervention in support of the defeated government. siege next year.
AQAP and fighters loyal to the Islamic State group have thrived in the chaos.
The Security Belt, a powerful separatist force in southern Yemen, has played a decisive role in the fight against the jihadists, forcing them to retreat from towns to the countryside.
Tuesday’s fighting came as Huthis and pro-government forces observed a shaky ceasefire in the years-long civil war.
Riven by division, groups against the Huthis, who are originally from the north, include southern separatists, who support the re-establishment of South Yemen.
The country was divided into North and South Yemen until reunification in 1990.
UN staff kidnapped
Highlighting Yemen’s security problem, AQAP on Saturday released a video showing a United Nations worker was kidnapped more than six months ago, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.
Five UN staff members were kidnapped in Abyan in February while returning to the port city of Aden from a field mission, UN spokesman Eri Kaneko told AFP at the time.
In Saturday’s video message, recorded on August 9, Akam Sofyol Anam called on “The United Nations, the international community, humanitarian organizations, please come forward … and respond to the requests.” demands of my captors”, without specifying the requirements.
Formed in a merger between Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni and Saudi branches, AQAP has carried out attacks against rebel and government targets in Yemen as well as foreigners.
It has been accused of plotting attacks in addition to Middle East and its leaders have been targeted by an American drone war for more than two decades, although the number of attacks has decreased in recent years.
The UN-brokered ceasefire in Yemen has significantly reduced fighting since the truce began in April, but violence continues to flare up.
Last week, 10 Yemeni soldiers were killed in a Huthi attack near Taez, the country’s third-largest city blockaded by rebels since 2015.
The attack, which also injured several soldiers, was aimed at cutting off a key road to the city of about 2 million people in the southwest, the government said.
On Thursday, the Huthis staged a military parade in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, prompting protests from the United Nations.

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