Al-Qaeda attack kills senior commander of paramilitary force in S. Yemen

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ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- A senior commander of the Security Belt Forces (SBF), a paramilitary force based in southern Yemen, was killed in an attack by al-Qaeda militants in the southern province of Abyan on Thursday, a government official said.

Abdul-Latif Al-Sayed, commander of the SBF in Abyan province, was killed when two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) struck his convoy in the Omayran valley in the Mudiyah district, said the official who requested anonymity.

At least four of Al-Sayed's bodyguards were killed in the ensuing battle with several al-Qaeda militants, the source stated.

Al-Sayed was a leading figure in the fight against the Yemeni faction of al-Qaeda, known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is considered as one of the most active branches of the terrorist group.

His forces, which forms the elite military wing of the Southern Transitional Council and backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have expelled the AQAP from key southern territories that the extremists had seized over the past few years.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels, has trained, equipped and financed Yemeni special forces units like SBF.

The ongoing civil war and power vacuum in Yemen have allowed the AQAP to flourish, posing a severe security threat within Yemen's borders and beyond. Enditem

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