ADEN (Reuters) - Al Qaeda militants claimed responsibility for a car bomb and gun attack on an army camp in southeastern Yemen early on Monday that killed at least 10 militants and two soldiers, according to a statement posted on Twitter.
The attack, near the town of Baddah in oil-producing Hadramout province, came after a lull in attacks by the Islamist militant group’s Yemeni affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Attackers set off two car bombs outside the camp, a military official said. Residents said they also heard gunfire after two loud explosions.
“Our soldiers foiled the attack and managed to secure the camp and we are still pursuing those who have escaped in nearby farms,” the official told Reuters by phone.
In its statement, al Qaeda said several “elite” troops were killed and vehicles destroyed, and that one of its fighters died.
Al Qaeda took advantage of years of turmoil to build up one of its most active branches in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
It has been forced out of some areas in recent years by Yemen’s army and allied Saudi-led coalition forces backing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Yemen’s civil war.
But its militants have retreated to mountainous and desert areas and launch regular attacks on Yemeni troops and government facilities.
The United States has launched two commando raids on al Qaeda forces in Yemen this year and stepped up drone attacks.
Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf and Ali Abdelatti; Writing by Sami Aboudi and Katie Paul; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Alison Williams