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Yemen: 3 militants, 2 soldiers killed in fighting

December 2, 2013

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Suspected al-Qaida militants attacked Monday a Yemeni military checkpoint in a southern province, sparking a clash that left three militants and two soldiers dead, a military official said.

Another four militants and one soldier were wounded in the fighting in Sayoun, a city in Hadramawt province, he said on condition of anonymity according to regulations.

Also in Hadramawt, unknown gunmen shot and killed an army officer and his son in a drive-by attack on his car on Sunday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

It said two attackers on a motorcycle fired at Colonel Ahmed al-Merfidi who was driving with his son Yasser, killing them both.

The government ordered Sunday that motorcycles be banned from the streets of the capital Sanaa for two weeks after an increase in such attacks.

Omar Abdul-Karim, a crime investigation expert in the Interior Ministry, told reporters earlier last week that the attackers are usually highly trained. He said the motorcycles allow assailants to attack from unexpected directions and easily maneuver in crowded streets while fleeing.

Dozens of motorcyclists demonstrated against the decision Monday in a Sanaa street, setting fire to tires and throwing rocks before police dispersed them.

Yemen is fighting a war against al-Qaida’s local branch, considered by Washington to be one of the world’s most dangerous offshoots of the terror network.

The branch, also known as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, regularly strikes security and military targets with drive-by shootings, suicide bombings and other attacks.

Update hourly