Saudi-led forces clash with al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, killing 18

Published March 14th, 2016 - 06:30 GMT
Yemeni men walk on March 13, 2016 past a charred car damaged during clashes between suspected al-Qaeda militants and policemen a day earlier, in the Mansoura residential district of the port city of Aden. (AFP/Saleh al-Obeidi)
Yemeni men walk on March 13, 2016 past a charred car damaged during clashes between suspected al-Qaeda militants and policemen a day earlier, in the Mansoura residential district of the port city of Aden. (AFP/Saleh al-Obeidi)

Yemen's Saudi-backed government attacked al-Qaeda militants overnight in Aden in attempt to displace them from a stronghold in the port city, killing at least 18, Reuters reported. The assault came as Saudi-backed forces supporting President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi advanced on Taiz, after breaking a siege there Friday.

Al-Qaeda has long been active in Yemen, but recently militant groups, including Daesh and other al-Qaeda affiliates, have expanded their control in areas where Hadi supporters managed to expel the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Witnesses and medics told Reuters that Apache helicopters struck armored vehicles and a government compound occupied by the militants in northern Aden. 

According to medics, a total of 18 people were killed - 17 suspected militants and one civilian - and at least 23 others were wounded. 

Yemeni security forces cordoned off an area of al-Mansoura district in Yemen, where dozens of suspected militants were believed to be hiding, while leaflets were dropped warning residents to stay home.

The recent advance on Taiz represented a breakthrough for Hadi's government, which has struggled to achieve a major victory against the Houthis, who overran most of Yemen in 2015 and forced the Hadi government into exile.

 

Since Saudi Arabia launched its military operation in Yemen aimed at restoring the authority of the Hadi government, over 6,000 have been killed, about half of them civilians.


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