Al Qaeda militants attacked and captured an army camp in Yemen on Thursday, leaving at least eight dead, The Associated Press reported. A Twitter account associated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise, reportedly took responsibility for the attacks.
The camp of the country's 19th Infantry Brigade was seized in the town of Baihan, about 200 miles east of the capital, Sanaa. Of the dead, at least four were army soldiers, AP reported, citing army sources. The group also posted images online, showing militants raising their black flag over the base, and inside armored vehicles. The AP said the authenticity of the images could not be verified, but added that they correspond to reports from the scene.
The attack comes one day after the United States, Britain and France announced the closure of their embassies in Sanaa, fearing ongoing violence between various political groups and the militant Houthis.
Since seizing the capital in September, the Houthis’ forays south have met with increasing resistance from al Qaeda and other tribal forces opposed to their rule, Agence France-Presse reported.
Last week, the Houthis dissolved the country's parliament and declared the institution of a “presidential council,” days after former president Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned in January. Hadi’s government had been a key ally in U.S. operations against AQAP, allowing frequent drone strikes against suspected militants.