Suspected al-Qaida gunmen kill two soldiers in Yemen's oil province

January 29, 2015 12:59


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ADEN, Yemen - Two Yemeni soldiers were killed and two wounded when they were ambushed while on patrol by suspected al-Qaida militants in the central province of Marib, a regional official said on Thursday.

Marib has most of Yemen's oil and gas fields and has long been a battleground between various factions, including local tribesmen, al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) insurgents and other Islamists, and government forces.

Now tribesmen say the province is subject to an advance by Iranian-allied Houthi fighters, who took over the capital Sanaa in September and brought about the collapse of the US-backed government last week.

A CIA drone strike on a car in Yemen killed three suspected al-Qaida militants in Marib on Monday, the first since the Sanaa government stepped down, in a sign such US operations will continue despite the political crisis.

Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said on Tuesday his movement was seeking a peaceful transfer of power after the resignation of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and urged all Yemeni factions to work together to that end.

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