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Roadside bomb hits Yemeni patrol

Updated: 2012-08-16 06:54
( Xinhua)

ADEN, Yemen - Two Yemeni soldiers were killed when their military vehicle hit a roadside bomb planted by al-Qaida suspects in the southern province of Abyan late on Wednesday, a government official said.

The military vehicle was passing along the main road in the coastal town of Shakra in Abyan province when it drove over a road- side bomb which exploded with a huge blast, the local government official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity, adding that the bombing left at least two soldiers killed.

"A thunderous blast left the military vehicle badly damaged at the scene..., and two army soldiers were killed at the scene," the government official said.

Witnesses told Xinhua that the blast was followed by gunshots from unknown attackers believed to belong to al-Qaida.

The Yemeni government forces declared victory over the local branch of al-Qaida after a month-long offensive that drove hundreds of terrorists from the territory they had controlled for about a year.

On June 20, Yemen's military officials announced the seizing of al-Qaida's last bastion in the troubled south, which followed the military offensive backed by the United States and Yemen's oil- rich neighbor Saudi Arabia.

However, local military and anti-terrorism experts said that the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch is still a major threat to the impoverished Arab country despite being driven out of its main southern bastions by the U.S.-backed military operation.

A string of high-level assassinations and suicide bombings struck Yemen's southern regions over the past two months, showing that al-Qaida militants still have the capacity to strike.