Al-Qaeda suspects attack army post in southern Yemen: Two dead

     Suspected Al-Qaeda militants ambushed a Yemeni army post in the southern province of Lahj before dawn Wednesday, and two soldiers were killed and three injured, a government official told Xinhua. The attack occurred early Wednesday in the area of Hableen when four gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint in eastern Lahj province, the local government official said.

The death toll is expected to rise because some of those injured were in critical condition. On Tuesday, security forces stormed a house in Aden 's Mansoura neighborhood to arrest some wanted terrorists, but the armed group started shooting at the security troops, sparking a short gun battle that left four Al-Qaeda suspects killed at the scene. Lahj is located 337 km southwest of the capital city Sanaa, and 30 km east of Aden, its international seaport.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda offshoot has exploited Yemen's year- long security vacuum during protests against the long-time ruler Saleh and controlled several southern cities for more than a year before they were driven out by a US-backed army offensive. On June 20, Yemen's military officials announced seizing Al-Qaeda's last bastion in the country's troubled south following the military offensive. However, local military and anti-terrorism experts said the Yemeni Al-Qaeda branch remained a major threat to the impoverished Arab country.

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