At least 85 Yemeni soldiers and 14 al-Qaida terrorists died on Sunday as a result of twin suicide bombings and ensuing clashes with al-Qaida terrorists in the south of Yemen, Reuters reported.
So far 85 soldiers have been killed and the toll is expected to rise as some bodies have not been transferred to hospital yet, a military official told Yemen TV. He said that "many more soldiers were wounded" in the clashes south of Zinjibar, Abyan's provincial capital.
Earlier on Sunday, according to a statement by the Yemeni army said that at least six Yemeni soldiers were killed when suicide bombers linked to al-Qaida detonated two vehicles laden with explosives at two military outposts in the Koud region near Zinjibar.
On Saturday, two suicide bombers drove a car packed with explosives into a Yemeni army base in the southern province of al-Bayda, killing one Republican Guard and the two bombers, the Defense Ministry said.
Al-Qaida terrorists claimed responsibility, military official said.
Attacks on security forces have increased over the past week since interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said fighting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and restoring security in the impoverished Arab nation are among his top priorities.
Last month, hours after interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was sworn in as President of Yemen, a car bomb targeting a presidential palace claimed the lives of at least 27 people. Al-Qaida has assumed responsibility for the blast in the southeastern city of Al Mukalla.
According to the Islam Times website reported that the Pentagon has for the first time confirmed that U.S. forces are operating inside Yemen, after a group of American officers came under attack in the city of Aden.
Al-Qaida claimed on Friday that they had killed a CIA officer in an exchange of fire in the city of Aden “after tracking him and determining he was cooperating with the Sana’a government." A Pentagon spokesman in Washington denied the report of the death but confirmed that a U.S. security team in Aden had been attacked, claiming the team members suffered no injuries.