Yemeni army gains ground against al-Qaeda in Aden

Published March 30th, 2016 - 02:30 GMT
Loyalist forces stand guard outside the central prison in the Mansoura residential district of Yemen's Aden after pushing Al-Qaeda out of parts of the southern city on March 30, 2016. (Saleh al-Obeidi)
Loyalist forces stand guard outside the central prison in the Mansoura residential district of Yemen's Aden after pushing Al-Qaeda out of parts of the southern city on March 30, 2016. (Saleh al-Obeidi)

The Yemeni army backed by local fighters was able to regain control of parts of Aden seized by al-Qaeda on Wednesday as part of a push to clear the hardline group from its stronghold in the southern port city, a security official said.

After three days of clashes, the forces managed to take over the central prison, surrounding buildings and residential areas in Mansoura district. They also arrested several fighters while others fled, the official said.

Aden is the temporary home of Yemen’s government which was driven out of the capital Sanaa by a separate conflict with Iran-allied Houthi rebels in 2014. The war has drawn in a Saudi-led military alliance to re-establish the government's authority and push back the Houthis. 6,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led operations began in Yemen. 

Radical militants from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh have taken advantage of the chaos in the year-long war, especially in the southern provinces.

A powerful al-Qaeda affiliate has seized a large swath of territory across the country’s south and east, while an upstart Daesh branch has carried out a series of attacks.


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