A suspected Al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed three Yemeni soldiers and wounded nine others in an attack today on an army position in the country's south, military officials said. The assailant used an explosives-rigged car to target the troops loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi who had recently set up the position in the town of Loder in Abyan province in their fight against the jihadists, the officials said. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), seen by the United States as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has exploited years of conflict between the government and Iran-backed Huthi rebels to expand its presence in Yemen. Al-Qaeda's jihadist rival, the Islamic State group, has also strengthened its control of parts of the impoverished country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Yemeni special forces, trained by the United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States, on Wednesday launched a major operation against the Al-Qaeda fighters, driving them out of oil-rich Shabwa province. The jihadists are thought to have moved further south into neighbouring Abyan province. More than 8,000 people have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to support the government against the Huthi Shiite rebels, who had seized the capital and swathes of the country's north.
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