ADEN // Suspected Al Qaeda militants disguised as security personnel seized an army base in southeast Yemen, killing at least three soldiers, and special forces were on their way to try to retake the base, a military official said yesterday.
The official said dozens of militants stormed the headquarters of the Yemeni army’s second division in the city of Al Mukalla and had captured some military personnel. At least six people were wounded.
“They caused confusion because soldiers at the base thought they were being attacked by members of the central security apparatus,” the official said.
Special forces personnel were flown from Sanaa to Mukalla ahead of an expected operation to retake the base.
A resident said he heard several explosions and that the army had cordoned off the area and asked residents of more than 50 houses in the vicinity to evacuate their homes.
Yemen is battling one of the most active branches of Al Qaeda, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has carried out a number of foiled attempts to attack US targets, including airlines.
On September 20, suspected Al Qaeda militants killed dozens of Yemeni soldiers and policemen in attacks in the south. Intelligence pointing to an impending attack by AQAP prompted the United States and other western countries to close many of their embassies in the region last month.