US airbase hit by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen

Published December 11th, 2014 - 08:28 GMT

Reports say a powerful explosion has rocked a military airbase in southern Yemen that hosts US forces and is an operation center for the American drone raids in the Arab country.

Witnesses said mortar fire hit the Al-Anad base in Lahij Province early Thursday. The base is mainly occupied by forces from the United States and Europe.

Al Qaeda-linked militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for a recent US rescue operation against one of their hideouts.

The failed US mission, which was carried out on Saturday, was meant to rescue an American photojournalist and a South African teacher held by the militants; the two were, however, killed by their captors.

The Anad base is a strategic logistic station for the US military in southern Yemen, where American forces conduct their drone strikes from.

Yemen has seen numerous cases of US drone attacks across its territory. Many civilians in rural areas have been killed in what the US says is an operation to root out al-Qaeda in the Arab country.

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