Gunmen still in control of Yemeni airport, soldiers killed
Sanaa's aerial offensive, in cooperation with the U.S drone program in the country, is building anti-government and anti-U.S. sentiment in Yemen nationwide (File Archive/AFP)
Military and security officials told AFP that gunmen stormed the Sayun airport in the Hadramawt province in the country's southeast region. The army allegedly intervened to evacuate civilians aboard a plane, and at least three soldiers were killed in the crossfire.
Security officials added that troops are still in a standoff with the militants at the time of the report, and that the militants are now in control of the airport control tower. The gunmen have also taken hostages.
Five more soliders were also killed in a nearby bombing that targeted a military headquarters near the airport Thursday. A suicide bomber was allegedly behind the attack.
Sayun and the Hadramawt province are considered one of the key jihadist strongholds within the country. Sanaa in recent months has attempted to oust Al Qaeda-linked operatives from the area through an intensive aerial offensive over the past two months. The army says that at least 500 Al Qaeda militants have been killed in the operation. 40 soldiers have also been killed.