At least 20 Yemeni soldiers were killed in an attack by al Qaeda militants on army positions on Monday morning. The attack took place in the vicinity of the city of Zinjibar in the province of Abyan. It came less than 24 hours after the death of Fahd al Qasa’, a prominent al Qaeda leader, who was killed yesterday in a raid in Shibuya region.
According to Yemeni military sources, “a large group of al Qaeda militants attacked soldiers from Brigade 115 based in the south of Zinjibar, killing at least 20 soldiers, including four officers.” Al Qaeda militants launched a night attack on the city of Lauder in South Yemen from three directions, and clashed with the Popular Resistance Committees and the Yemeni army. Before that, the Popular Resistance Committees repulsed an attack by al-Qaeda fighters on the city of Lauder, killing 12 of the attackers.
In the past, al Qasa’ sentenced to ten years in prison for his involvement in the attack on the USS America (USS Cole) in October 2001, at the port of Aden.. He was killed with two of his companions in an air strike on his car Sunday evening. He escaped from the Yemeni prison in February 2005 along with 22 other al-Qaeda fighters.
Al Qasa’ survived five assassination attempts during the past years, most recently in August 2011, when he suffered minor injuries.