Six soldiers of a new anti-jihadist force formed by the United Arab Emirates were killed and others were abducted Wednesday in an al-Qaida suicide bombing in southern Yemen, a Yemeni military official said.

The suicide bomber blew up his vehicle next to a military position recently set up by the Yemeni force in Shabwa province, the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Two vehicles belonging to the anti-jihadist force were destroyed in the attack, which left an undetermined number wounded while other soldiers were abducted by al-Qaida members supporting the suicide bomber, he added.

The official said the victims belong to an “elite unit” set up by the United Arab Emirates, one of the key partners in the Saudi-led coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Shiite Huthi rebels.

Al-Qaida militants remain active in southern Yemen where they have exploited the security gap created by the conflict between Hadi’s supporters and the Huthi rebels

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