Suicide Bombers Hit Yemen Government’s Mukalla Port

Houthi fighters react while riding on the back of a truck as they attend a tribal gathering in Sanaa, Yemen, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

By Mohammed Mukhashaf

ADEN, July 18 – Suicide attackers set off car bombs at two military checkpoints outside the government-held port city of Mukalla in Yemen on Monday, killing at least five soldiers, security sources and medics said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks near the capital of eastern Hadramout province on the Gulf of Aden.

But they were the latest in a series of bombings since forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by UAE troops, drove out al Qaeda militants there in April.

Security sources said one of the attacks hit the al-Burum area southwest of the city, while another struck the al-Ghaber district to the west.

At least 15 people were wounded in the blasts, five of them seriously, medics added.

Islamist militants from al Qaeda and its rival Islamic State have been building up their presence in the impoverished country, taking advantage of the chaos around Yemen’s civil war that began in 2014.

Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch had built up a mini-state centred on Mukalla. It has planned several foiled bombing attempts on Western-bound airlines and claimed credit for the 2015 attack at the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s offices in Paris.

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