Aden, March 25
Three suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State group on Saturday struck checkpoints of Yemeni loyalist forces in Aden, killing 22 persons, including 10 civilians, a security official said.
The bombings were followed by an attempt to attack a nearby large base of the Saudi-led Arab pro-government coalition which recently turned its guns on jihadists in southern Yemen.
The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency said in an online report that “IS fighters have launched three martyrdom operations and an attack on a base of the coalition in Aden”.
Two bombs went off simultaneously at separate checkpoints in Shaab district, on Aden’s western outskirts, before gunmen launched an attack on the nearby base of the military coalition, an official said.
Apache helicopters belonging to the coalition carried out strikes on positions of gunmen in the surrounding area as fighters tried to advance toward the base.
A third explosive device planted in an ambulance was detonated at checkpoint near Mansura, in central Aden, the official said.
The Arab coalition, which has waged a year-long bombing campaign against Shiite Huthi rebels, began targeting jihadists for the first time last week in Aden.
The Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda have exploited the chaos, widening their footholds in the south and carrying out deadly attacks, mostly against forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
A US air strike Tuesday on an Al-Qaeda training camp in the southeastern province of Hadramawt killed more than 70 fighters in a major blow to the extremist group.
Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen is considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of the international terror organisation.
The Arab coalition launched an air campaign against the Iran-backed rebels last March as they advanced on Hadi’s refuge in Aden, forcing him to flee to Riyadh.
Loyalists have since managed to drive the rebels out of Aden and four other southern provinces, thanks to the military support of the coalition.
But the coalition has failed to deal a decisive blow to the rebels and their allies, who continue to control large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, which they seized in September 2014.
The United Nations says about 6,300 people have been killed since March last year, with civilians accounting for more than half. — AFP
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