138 dead in al-Qaida attack on Yemen army
By AHMED AL-HAJ. The Associated Press
SAN’A, Yemen — Sneaking across the desert behind army lines, al-Qaida militants launched a surprise attack against military bases in south Yemen, killing 106 soldiers and capturing heavy weapons they used to kill more troops, officials said yesterday.
The military officials said at least 32 of the militants were killed in Sunday’s fighting in Abyan province, and scores were wounded on both sides. Medical officials in the area confirmed the death toll figures. They said the poor services in local hospitals accounted for the death of many soldiers who suffered serious wounds but could have survived with better medical care.
The death toll among the troops is believed to be the highest on record in battles fought by the army against al-Qaida militants, who have been emboldened by the political turmoil roiling the impoverished Arab nation for more than a year.
The scale of the attack also points to the combat-readiness of the militants as they launch more attacks in a region that the United States considers a key battleground in the war on al-Qaida.
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- 139 dead in al-Qaida attack on Yemen army (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- 139 Dead in Yemen Fighting – TIME (time.com)