Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Yemeni troops retake town from Al Qaeda gunmen

Yemeni troops backed by armoured vehicles took control of the southern town of Jaar today after Al Qaeda gunmen who overran it a year ago withdrew during the night, witnesses said.

ADEN // Yemeni troops backed by armoured vehicles took control of the southern town of Jaar today after Al Qaeda gunmen who overran it a year ago withdrew during the night, witnesses said.

The taking of the town marks the first major victory of an all-out military offensive launched a month ago against the jihadists, who have controlled most of the southern province of Abyan for more than year.

Armoured vehicles moved into the centre of Jaar hours after Al Qaeda militants withdrew towards the nearby town of Shuqra, when "fighting with the army became fiercer," one resident told AFP.

Locals said they saw vehicles carrying militants, weapons and furniture heading east towards Shuqra, where many of the Al Qaeda leadership are believed to be holed up.

The militants distributed pamphlets in the town apologising to residents for dragging Jaar into a conflict with the army and for the damage caused by the fighting, according to locals.

Yemeni forces launched an offensive on May 12 aimed at reclaiming towns and cities lost to Al-Qaeda over the past year, including Abyan's capital Zinjibar.

Since the offensive began, 485 people have been killed, according to an AFP tally combined from different sources. This includes 368 Al-Qaeda militants, 72 soldiers, 26 local armed men and 19 civilians.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. AFP Photo

The inner workings of Gulen’s ‘parallel state’

Fethullah Gulen's followers are accused of trying to push Turkey's prime minister from power.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National