6 Yemeni soldiers guarding southern Austrian oil company killed by al-Qaida

08:14, July 26, 2010      

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At least six Yemeni soldiers guarding an Austrian oil company were killed on Sunday when a group of al-Qaida gunmen attempted to raid the oil company in the Yemeni southern province of Shabwa, a provincial security official told Xinhua.

The security official in Ataq, the capital city of Shabwa, told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that a group of al-Qaida gunmen raided Sunday evening the Yemeni security guards of an Austrian oil company located at al-Akla area in the southeast province of Shabwa.

"Nearly ten terrorists wearing Afghani-style clothes who were equipped with heavy machine guns on a vehicle approached the wall of the Austrian oil company, killing at least six security soldiers and wounding dozens of others," the official said.

"The security guards, however, fired back and engaged in a fierce clash with the gunmen, which forced the latter to retreat," he said, adding that "a military brigade nearby heard the sounds of shootings and rushed to the scene."

"The attack hurt no staff of the foreign oil company and caused no damage to the company," said the official.

He said the security and back-up military troops then ran after the terrorist gunmen and managed to damage their vehicle while they were trying to flee, forcing them to run away on foot.

"As it was about 8:00 p.m. local time (1700 GMT) in the evening, the gunmen disappeared into nearby mountains," said the official.

On Saturday, Yemeni interior minister said in a statement that it has stepped up security measures across the country to prevent future terrorist strikes after a series of deadly attacks were launched by al-Qaida on security facilities in the country's south, leaving dozens of soldiers dead.

The ministry's statement issued a day after al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the July 14 twin raids on the general security and intelligence buildings in the southern province of Abyan, which killed at least three soldiers and an al-Qaida assailant.

On June 19, militants raided the intelligence headquarters in the southern port city of Aden, killing at least 11 people. Al- Qaida later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it killed at least 24 people.

The government of Yemen has intensified security operations and air raids against terrorist groups, after the Yemen-based al-Qaida wing claimed responsibility for a failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit last year.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:秦唯(实习))

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