At least 21 fighters, 6 extremists dead in Yemen al-Qaeda attack: Report

Twenty-one fighters and six members of al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch were killed Tuesday in an attack by the extremist group in the country’s south, government and security sources said.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked positions held by the Security Belt group in Abyan governorate, in clashes that lasted about three hours, the sources said .

The fighting “left 21 dead among the (Security Belt), including an officer, and six among the al-Qaeda combatants,” a government official said on condition of anonymity.

Two security sources confirmed the death toll.

Yemen has been gripped by conflict since Iran-backed Houthis took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, triggering military intervention by the Arab Coalition in support of the internationally-recognized government the following year.

AQAP and fighters loyal to ISIS have thrived in the chaos.

The fighting comes as the warring parties observe a shaky ceasefire in the years-long war.

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