16 soldiers die in clashes with Al Qaeda, rebels

ADEN: Sixteen Yemeni pro-government fighters were killed on Tuesday in separate clashes with Ansarallah rebels and Al Qaeda fighters in the south of the war-torn country, military sources and officials said. Forces supporting Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by a coalition, are fighting both the Ansarallah rebels who control parts of the country including the capital Sanaa and fighters in the south.
Al Qaeda fighters on Tuesday ambushed an army unit on its way to conduct an operation against a rebel-held position east of the coastal town of Shaqra in the southern province of Abyan, security sources said.
Local officials said 11 soldiers and 15 Al Qaeda fighters were killed in the attack.
Al Qaeda fighters seized two military vehicles and weapons, security sources said.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring province of Shabwa, five pro-Hadi fighters including an officer were killed along with nine Ansarallah rebels near the town of Baihan, loyalist military sources said.
Baihan is held by Ansarallah and their allies, supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Al Qaeda and the rival IS group have taken advantage of chaos in Yemen to reinforce their presence in the Arabian Peninsula country.
Yemen’s war has killed more than 7,000 people since the coalition began its military intervention in March 2015, according to the United Nations.