Two killed in Yemen-Saudi border post attack

Saudi soldiers keep watch at Khoba, the frontline border with Yemen, January 27, 2010.

Saudi soldiers keep watch at Khoba, the frontline border with Yemen, January 27, 2010.

A Saudi security officer and Yemeni soldiers were killed when gunmen attacked their border post between the two countries on Friday, official said.

“A security patrol came under fire from assailants, resulted in the martyrdom of its commander, which required responding to the source of fire similarly,” Saudi Interior Minister Spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour a-Turki told the SPA news agency.

“The exchange of fire resulted in killing of three of the attackers, wounded one of them and arrested another,” the spokesman added.

Maj. Gen. al-Turki added that security forces were inspecting some buildings to which one or two of the attackers may have resorted.

In Yemen, a security source said it was the work of suspected al-Qaeda gunmen who attacked a military post on the border, triggering a clash that killed one Yemeni soldier and wounded another, according to AFP.

The assailants used machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades to attack the Yemeni side of the Wadia post, the source said, adding that the gunmen managed to flee.

The crossing is in Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramawt, whose rugged terrain provides hideouts for militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

AQAP, born in 2009 of a fusion of the Saudi and Yemeni branches of Al-Qaeda, is considered by Washington to be the jihadist network’s most dangerous affiliate.

Local Yemeni officials told AFP that Friday’s attack bore “the thumbprints of Al-Qaeda” without elaborating.

Apart from infiltrators, smugglers do a brisk business across the long and porous border between oil-rich Saudi Arabia and impoverished Yemen.

To counter illegal crossings and arms smuggling, Saudi Arabia is building a three-meter (10-foot) high fence along its southern frontier.

Taking advantage of a collapse of central authority during a 2011 uprising that forced Yemen’s veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, Al-Qaeda seized swathes of the country’s south and east.

Saudi Arabia launched a massive crackdown on Al-Qaeda following a spate of deadly attacks in the kingdom from 2003-2006.

 

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