The ambush on a Saudi military convoy followed an attack last week involving Saudi troops near Yemen's border with Oman
Five soldiers killed in armed ambush near Al-Mahra border
Five soldiers were killed and a sixth injured in an armed ambush on Tuesday morning between the Haat and Shehn areas in Al-Mahra governorate in eastern Yemen, a military official in the governorate told Almasdar Online.
Almasdar Online could not confirm the nationalities of the soldiers targeted in the attack, but the official said the burned military vehicle carrying the troops belonged to the Yemeni forces, who were escorting a Saudi convoy.
A defense ministry official said the ambush damaged an armored vehicle and charred a special forces carrier accompanying the Saudi forces.
The incident could heighten tensions in the short-term in Al-Mahra governorate, which has largely escaped open conflict during the five-year war.
Last week, Al-Mahra witnessed armed clashes, involving a coalition Apache helicopter, between Saudi forces and tribal gunmen near Shehn port bordering Oman.
Tuesday’s ambush comes two days after Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi dismissed Al-Mahra governor, Rajeh Bakreet, on corruption charges and replaced him with Mohammed Ali Yasser, a former governor of Mahra and member of parliament
After appointing Yasser as governor of Al-Mahra in December 2014, Hadi dismissed him the following November under orders from Saudi officials. The same month, Hadi replaced Yasser with Mohammed Abdullah Keda, a minister in then internationally recognized government.
For nearly two years, Al-Mahra has felt tensions from protesters demanding the dismissal of Saudi-appointed Bakreet and the removal of Saudi forces from the governorate. While Hadi gave orders to deal firmly with those responsible for attacking the Saudies, the removal of Bakreet could signal a reduction in tensions.