7 killed in al-Qaida attack on military hospital in Yemen
ADEN, Yemen, June 28 (Xinhua) -- About four army soldiers and three al-Qaida militants were killed during an armed attack on a military hospital in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Saturday, a government official said.
"The assailants, an armed squad of the al-Qaida group, opened fire at the soldier charged with guarding the el-Battenah military hospital in Abar region of Hadramout province, triggering armed clashes that left four soldiers and three attackers killed at the scene," the local government official said on condition of anonymity.
"The al-Qaida gunmen were aiming to take control over the military hospital, but the army troops repulsed them after an hour long clash," the official added.
A police officer confirmed the incident to Xinhua, saying that "army soldiers from the 37th Armored Brigade have managed to foil an al-Qaida terrorist attack against a key military-run hospital in Hadramout."
The armed and security forces began hunting the al-Qaida terrorists in Hadramout and launched an investigation into the attack, the police officer said.
On Thursday, armed attacks took place at the First Military Region Headquarters and the Seiyun local airport in Hadramout province, killing at least nine and wounding 12 others.
There was no claim of responsibility for the armed attack, but Yemeni military officials blamed militants of the Yemen-based al- Qaida offshoot for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country's southern parts.
The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.