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The New Arab

Bomb blasts kill Arab coalition troops in Yemen's Mukalla

Yemeni forces and Arab coalition fighters are based at the camp [File photo: Anadolu]

Date of publication: 12 May, 2016

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Triple suicide attacks killed more than a dozen navy soldiers from the Saudi-led coalition when it struck a military navy camp in Mukalla on Thursday.

More than a dozen Arab coalition-backed troops were killed when multiple explosive-laden cars detonated at a military camp in east Mukalla, just a few weeks after coalition forces claimed to kill 800 militants in the port city.

United Arab Emirates soldiers, as well as Yemeni troops are understood to be among the dead in the attack, local sources told The New Arab.

The number of dead, as well as the nationalities of the soldiers, have yet to be confirmed.

Black smoke was seen billowing above the city, shadowing the nearby Mukalla port as uniformed dead bodies lay scattered across the floor at the scene.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement which names the suicide bomber as Hamza al-Muhajer.

It comes just a day after three people were killed when a car bomb targeting a military post in Yemen’s Hadramawt region exploded on Wednesday.

General Abdul Kareem al-Zumha was among those wounded in that attack, which rocked al-Batinah in the al-Qutn directorate. 

A chief security guard as well as lower-ranked soldiers stationed at the centre were also injured in the attack, a military source told The New Arab.

Pro-government forces, backed by UAE fighters from the Saudi-led coalition involved in the conflict, launched a major operation to liberate southern provinces from the local al-Qaeda franchise last month.

In late April, coalition forces claimed to have driven out the group from its strategic Mukalla city stronghold.

But later reports suggest Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - Yemen's branch of the militant movement - allegedly withdrew from the city to save it from destruction and bloodshed, undermining claims by the Saudi-led coalition suggesting a fierce battle killed 800 militant fighters.

The coalition fighters ascended upon Mukalla on April 24, forcing militants to withdraw from the city in just a few hours after having controlled the port city for more than a year.

But more than 13 months of conflict in Yemen has allowed the Yemen-branch of the Islamic State group to flourish across the country.

Terror attacks have been frequent with dozens of police officers and military personnel being killed by militants who accuse the government of "apostasy".

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