Islamic State Claims Attack That Killed 15 Yemeni Soldiers

Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacks that killed 15 Yemeni soldiers in southeastern Yemen on Friday, highlighting the extremists’ efforts to take advantage of the country’s civil war to gain influence.

A group of 50-70 masked gunmen stormed two checkpoints in the historical city of Shibam, Hadramaut province, which was being manned by security forces loyal to ousted President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi, the independent al-Masdar news website reported. A suicide car bomb was also involved, it said.

Army troops, backed by military helicopters, managed to keep control of the checkpoints during a two-hour battle in which eight militants were killed, according to the report.

In a statement on Twitter, Islamic State said its gunmen attacked the checkpoints before a suicide bomber struck a military reinforcement unit that came to assist.

Officials had earlier linked the violence to al-Qaeda, which has captured much of the province, as well as its capital Mukalla.

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