Al-Qaeda bomber kills 4 Yemen troops

Updated 18 August 2016
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Al-Qaeda bomber kills 4 Yemen troops

ADEN: An Al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed four Yemeni soldiers in an attack Thursday in the Abyan province, where government forces have launched an anti-extremist offensive, a military official said.
The attacker rammed his car into two military vehicles parked on a road linking the towns of Loder and Moudia in Abyan province, the source said. “Four soldiers were killed and others were wounded,” the official told AFP.
The attack came after troops recaptured both towns from the terrorists who fled to surrounding mountains as the army entered, residents said.
Military sources said the bombing was a retaliation attack by Al-Qaeda after government troops recaptured parts of Abyan, including provincial capital Zinjibar.
Government forces, backed by air power from a Saudi-led coalition, launched the offensive to retake Abyan on Sunday, after they failed to recapture the vast province earlier this year.
Al-Qaeda and Daesh group have exploited a power vacuum in Yemen to expand their presence in the country’s south and southeast.
Yemeni authorities had trained hundreds of soldiers in the nearby province of Aden over the past two months to retake Abyan.
Washington considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, to be the extremist network’s deadliest franchise.


Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

Updated 12 min 14 sec ago
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Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

  • The rocket hit Burjeisa residential and operations headquarters west of Basra
  • Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile

BASRA, Iraq: A rocket struck the site of the residential and operations headquarters of several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding three people, Iraq’s military said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. It came after two separate attacks in as many days on bases housing US military personnel in Iraq, as tension rose between the United States and Iran.
The rocket hit the Burjesia site west of the city, according to police and a statement released by the military. Police earlier said two Iraqi workers were wounded.
The United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy last month, citing unspecified threats from Iran against US interests in neighboring Iraq, where Tehran supports some Shiite militias.
Wednesday’s incident came just as Exxon staff who were also evacuated after the diplomats’ departure had begun to return to Basra.
A security source said Exxon was evacuating 21 foreign staff immediately by plane to Dubai.
Oil officials said operations including exports from southern Iraq were not affected by the incident.
Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italy’s Eni SpA, the oil officials said.
The rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile, the military said. Police said it landed 100 meters from the part of the site used as a residence and operations center by Exxon.
Burjesia is near the Zubair oilfield operated by Eni.
Washington has ramped up sanctions pressure on Iran in recent months and says it has sent additional forces to the region over tension with the Islamic Republic.
It blames Tehran for attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. Tehran denies it was involved.
Both sides say they do not want war, but analysts warn such incidents could escalate violence in the region.