An attack on a military post in Yemen's Lahj province left 10 dead Monday, in the latest in a series of skirmishes in the Arab country.
Southern secessionist gunmen approached the military post on trucks with machine guns, according to the Business Standard, and opened fire. A military official confirmed that the attack took place in the al-Habylan area of the province.
"The army forces swiftly launched a large-scale manhunt against the secessionist attackers and arrested one of them," said an army source. "Two military vehicles were destroyed during the attack. The identities of the gunmen remained unclear."
Four soldiers may also have been abducted, military sources revealed to Gulf News. Southern separatists have denied involvement with the attack.
North and south Yemen used to be separate states but merged peacefully in 1990. However, the relationship deteriorated soon after, and Southern Yemen began calling for a secession from the North in 2007.
Regional news sources have also linked Al Qaeda with the attack. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has stepped up its attacks against Yemeni security forces in recent years, though these attacks have been mainly in the lawless southern and eastern provinces where jihadist groups are active.
In August, the United States closed down all its embassies in the Middle East for several days after U.S. intelligence intercepted a phone call between al-Wuhayshi and Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. During the phone call, al-Wuhayshi reportedly vowed to carry out an attack that would "change the face of history".
In September, a large-scale coordinated attack on military bases and outposts left over 40 dead. Earlier this month, terrorists stormed a hospital complex, executing patients and medical staff in cold blood. 52 were killed and over 150 injured.