At least 27 killed in overnight Yemen attacks
Security sources say around 20 militants were among the dead (File/AFP)
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An overnight attack on government buildings and military outposts in southeastern Yemen has left at least 27 people dead.
Official sources said seven Yemeni soldiers and 20 militants were killed in the attack in Seiyun, the second city of Hadramawt province.
They said dozens of al-Qaeda militants, who came from desert areas outside Seiyun in 15 pickup trucks, briefly took control of some of the buildings and then withdrew early Saturday.
“They wanted to capture the city and control it,” a local security official said on condition of anonymity.
Yemeni security forces frequently come under attack by militants, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
The attack came a day after Yemeni security forces killed a prominent al-Qaida figure in the south of the country.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry identified the militant as an Egyptian by the nom de guerre of Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Masri. The defense ministry did not give further details on the circumstances of his death.
The Yemeni army launched a large-scale offensive in April to flush al-Qaeda militants out of the provinces of Shabwa, Abyan, and Baida.
Attacks against Yemeni security forces and officials escalated after President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi came to power in a one-man election backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States in February 2012.