Al-Qaeda storms Yemeni army base, 78 soldiers killed, 56 taken prisoner

“It was a massacre.”

Not sure whether to condemn or congratulate, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were seen flipping a coin. Heads they win, tails we lose.

AFP (h/t Weasel Zippers) — An attack by Al-Qaeda extremists on troops in Yemen’s restive south sparked fierce clashes in which at least 78 soldiers and 25 militants were killed, medics and military officials said on Monday.

“The toll from the battles between the army and Al-Qaeda militants … has risen to at least 78” soldiers, a military official said on condition of anonymity.

He added that “dozens more were wounded … in the surprise attack” Sunday on army posts on the outskirts of Zinjibar, Abyan’s provincial capital.

“It was a massacre,” he said.

A medic at a military hospital in the neighboring port city of Aden confirmed the death toll and said staff were overwhelmed by the number of casualties.

“We were forced to use administrative offices and waiting rooms to treat the wounded,” the medic told AFP, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The hospital was packed full with dead and injured” soldiers, he added.

Military officials had reported fierce clashes Sunday when militants linked to Al-Qaeda tried to overrun an army post in Kud, just south of Zinjibar. The violence then spread to other military positions on the outskirts of the city.

He said that at least 56 soldiers were taken prisoner by Al-Qaeda, including seven army officers and 10 wounded soldiers.

The militants, known as the Partisans of Sharia, took control of Zinjibar and several other towns in Yemen’s mostly lawless south last May as former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was facing mass protests demanding his ouster.

(Bill Roggio has more.)

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