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Yemen: 12 killed in militant checkpoint attack

Four members of Yemen's security forces and eight Al Qaeda fighters were killed Saturday after militants launched an attack on a security checkpoint outside the southern Yemeni city of Aden.

Yemen al qaeda 2012 4 4Enlarge
Al Qaeda loyalists in the town of Jaar, in Yemen's southern Abyan province, on Jan. 25, 2012. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Twelve people have been killed in an attack by Al Qaeda fighters on a security checkpoint in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, police say.

A security official told the Associated Press that militants in pickup trucks attacked the post on the outskirts of the city on Saturday, killing four members of the security forces while losing eight of their own fighters.

Another three Al Qaeda fighters and one security force member were wounded in the assault, while in a separate incident militants kidnapped a senior intelligence officer and two soldiers in the town of Radda, south of Yemen’s capital, Sana'a.

Hundreds of people have died in clashes between security forces and militants in the areas around Aden over the past week, the BBC reports.

Yemen’s government recently launched a military campaign it claims has taken the lives of some 200 militants in the southern region in the last five days alone, according to the Agence France Presse.

More from GlobalPost: At least 50 militants killed in government strike in country's south

Islamist-linked militants exploited a security vacuum and seized territory in Yemen’s southern and eastern regions following months of protests against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh last year.

Saturday’s attack comes a day after more than 30 people were killed clashes in the south between Al Qaeda-linked insurgents and the military.

Saleh – who ruled Yemen for more than three decades – handed over power in February to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who has pledged to restructure the country’s armed forces and tackle the terror network that has embedded itself in the country’s more restive regions.

Al Qaeda’s francise in Yemen, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered to be one of the movement’s most dangerous offshoots. 

More from GlobalPost: Yemen says dozens dead in Al Qaeda assault

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120414/yemen-12-killed-militant-checkpoint-attack