On October 8, six fighters of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) were killed and two others were wounded in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan as a result of an attack that was attributed to al-Qaeda.
A spokesman for STC forces said that a military vehicle carrying the fighters was targeted with two improvised explosive devices, which were planted by al-Qaeda terrorists, as it was passing on the highway of the Mudiyah district.
The attack took place as forces from the STC, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, and others from the Saudi-backed government in Aden were entering the district of al-Mahfad in Abyan. The forces pushed al-Qaeda cells out from al-Mahafad towards the districts of Jayshan, Hatib, Nisab and al-Said.
The STC expanded its presence in Abyan recently in a step meant to counter terrorist groups in the region, first and foremost al-Qaeda.
This was the first attack by al-Qaeda to target UAE-backed forces in Abyan this month. In September, 21 fighters of the Security Belt, a separatist force backed by Abu Dhabi, were killed in an attack by the terrorist group’s cells in the area of Maqatin.
Al-Qaeda continues to maintain a strong influence in southern Yemen, where forces backed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia are mainly present. The efforts being made to counter the terrorist group are minimal. UAE and Saudi-backed forces are still more interested in fighting the Houthis (Ansar Allah) in central, western and northern Yemen.
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