Sana’a: At least six Yemeni soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a suspected Al Qaeda ambush Monday in Hadramout province, a police official said.

“Suspected Al Qaeda gunmen carried out an attack on Yemeni army patrol in the town of Qatan. Six soldiers were killed and three others were wounded,” the provincial police source said on condition of anonymity.

The militants fled after the attack, he said.

A military source confirmed the incident, saying that “the ambush occurred when the army troops were carrying out a sweeping operation on a military vehicle in the Qatan region”.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemeni military officials blamed militants of a Yemen-based Al Qaeda offshoot for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country’s southern parts.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, emerged in January 2009.

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