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Deadly blasts near key military site in Yemen, 40 soldiers dead
Friday September 20, 2013 3:24 PM, IANS

Three suicide car bombings hit a key military site in Yemen's southeastern province of Shabwa early Friday leaving at least 40 soldiers dead and dozens injured.

The three explosives-rigged cars went off at a military site in Azzan area, in the southeastern Shabwa province, killing at least 40 soldiers and wounding dozens of others, a local government official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

One of the bombs ripped through a key site manned by the armed forces in Azzan area, killing 30 soldiers and wounding 20 others at the scene, the government source said.

Two more car bombs went off at the police headquarters in the same area, killing up to 10 soldiers and wounding several others, he said.

"We heard three loud explosions near the police station centre and when we came out we saw smoke coming out of the buildings and burning vehicles and dozens of army soldiers killed. It was a terrible scene," a local resident told Xinhua anonymously.

The toll in Friday's suicide attacks could rise as ambulances and civilian cars sent victims to different hospitals and medical centres in the city, according to local sources.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for these explosions.

A spokesman of the AQAP told Xinhua over phone early Friday that they launched wide-scale attacks using two car bombs and ground attacks on an army barrack and the police station, which killed more than 50 soldiers.

He said that they launched the attacks took place a few minutes after a US drone attacked a militant car in Eyen Ma'Bad area in Shabwa and killed all those on board.

A security operations room in Shabwa told Xinhua that the troops killed in the army barracks were responsible for securing and protecting a nearby oil installation in the southern edge of the province.

The Yemen-based AQAP, which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and its neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

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