2 Yemeni soldiers killed in suspected al-Qaida attack

2 Yemeni soldiers killed in suspected al-Qaida attack

ADEN, Yemen, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Unknown gunmen killed two soldiers during an armed attack at a security checkpoint in Yemen' s southeastern province of Hadramout early Saturday, a police officer told Xinhua.

Suspected al-Qaida attackers sprayed bullets at a group of security troops manning a checkpoint near an armored army brigade in the Qatan region of Hadramout province, a local police officer said.

The attack bore the hallmark of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemen's resurgent terrorist off-shoot, the source added.

A medical official at a nearby public hospital confirmed the casualty figures.

Meanwhile, police explosive experts have managed to defuse an Improvised Explosive Deceive planted near the main gate of the Special Security Forces headquarters in Hadramout's town of Seiyun.

On Thursday, the spokesperson of Yemeni military authorities announced that a total of 500 AQAP militants and 40 soldiers were killed in a large-scale military operations against the terrorist group's key bastions in the country's south last month.

"The government of Yemen is committed to eradicating the threat of al-Qaida and terrorism in Yemen," said Colonel Saeed al-Faquih, spokesman for the Yemeni army.

"The army and security personnel will not stand down from fulfilling their obligations to purge Yemen of terrorists," he added.

The Yemeni military and security forces, garnering support from the United States, have recently intensified operations against suspected al-Qaida strongholds throughout the country, killing many non-Yemeni al-Qaida suspects.