Al-Qaida claims responsibility for defeat of Yemen army in which nearly 200 soldiers died

The Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen - Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for a weekend assault on a military base in southern Yemen which officials say left nearly 200 soldiers dead.

The group said in a statement on several jihadi websites Wednesday that it had carried out the attack that it dubbed "Chopping the Tail." It was deadliest defeat Yemen's army has suffered in a nearly yearlong campaign against the militant movement in the south.

Officials say that some 185 soldiers died in the Sunday attack. The army reported another 55 soldiers captured with 32 attackers killed.

Al-Qaida gave different casualty figures: 100 soldiers killed and 73 captured.

Militants has taken advantage of a year of political turmoil in Yemen to seize control several towns in the south.