DUBAI - The Yemen-based branch of al-Qaida said on Monday that its attack on a Yemeni army base last month targeted an operations room used by the United States to direct drone strikes against militants, and threatened more such assaults.
Dozens of militants stormed and captured the headquarters of the Yemeni army's Second Division in the eastern city of al-Mukalla on Sept. 30 and took some military personnel hostage. Military officials said four Yemeni soldiers were killed and nine wounded in a counter-strike to retake the base.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is regarded by the United States as one of the most active wings of the diffuse international jihadi network, posing a serious threat to Western interests including nearby sea lanes plied by oil tankers.
AQAP said Yemen had turned a number of its military facilities in recent years into "intelligence and operations rooms to direct the war against the Mujahideen (holy fighters) and operate pilotless planes".
"The Mujahideen have directed a harsh blow to one of these headquarters," it said in a message posted on Shumukh al-Islam, an Islamist website, referring to the Sept. 30 attack.