AQAP kills 5 Yemeni troops, loots convoy

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ambushed a convoy escorted by Yemeni troops today, killing five soldiers. From the Yemen Post:

At least five soldiers were killed and others injured in a suspected Al-Qaeda ambush in Yemen’s eastern Hadramout province on Wednesday.

A security source was quoted by as saying that Al-Qaeda militants targeted a security patrol escorting a post vehicle in the Al-Shihr district killing almost five and injuring others of those who were in the patrol.

The militants intercepted the patrol, fired on the soldiers and looted YR 10 million the vehicle was transporting from Mukalla city, the source was quoted as saying.

AQAP has killed 22 Yemeni soldiers already this year; in addition to today’s casualties, two attacks on Jan. 7 in the southern province of Abyab killed 13 troops, and an ambush on Jan. 8 in Lahj killed four more.

The Yemeni government has said that 178 security personnel were killed and 872 were wounded in fighting against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Southern Separatist Movement during 2010. Based on attacks so far this month, 2011 looks to be a worse year for Yemeni troops.

Also of note: The theft of the convoy is in line with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki’s argument that jihadists should not rely exclusively on donations and that instead they have the right to loot “disbelievers” in order to finance their activities. Awlaki made the argument in the latest issue of Inspire, AQAP’s Englsh language magazine.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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