ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- At least four soldiers of Yemen's government forces were killed in an explosion in the country's southern province of Abyan on Saturday, a military official told Xinhua.
"Elements of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch detonated an Improvised Explosive Device and struck a military vehicle of the government troops in a valley in Mudiyah district, northeast of Abyan province," the local military official said on condition of anonymity.
The explosion masterminded by al-Qaida destroyed the military vehicle and left four soldiers killed as well as five others critically injured at the scene, said the official.
Following the explosion, the government forces dispatched an anti-terror military unit into the bombing area to track down the perpetrators, according to the official.
Earlier this month, military units of the Southern Transitional Council, which is a part of Yemen's government, announced they were launching "a qualitative anti-terror operation and succeeded in raiding a key hideout of al-Qaida in Abyan."
Scores of al-Qaida militants frequently use hit-and-run tactics against Yemeni government forces while hiding out in rocky terrains and mountainous areas of Abyan and other neighboring provinces.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula network has exploited years of deadly conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia to expand its presence in the war-ravaged Arab country. It has carried out many high-profile attacks against the security forces in the country's southern provinces. ■