Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Seven Al Qaeda militants killed during raid in Yemen

Security forces raided a base in southern Yemen

A Houthi rebel supporter sits behind a machine gun mounted on a truck during a gathering to mobilise more fighters into battlefronts against Saudi-backed government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen. EPA
A Houthi rebel supporter sits behind a machine gun mounted on a truck during a gathering to mobilise more fighters into battlefronts against Saudi-backed government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen. EPA

Seven Al Qaeda militants were killed, one injured and three arrested during a raid by security forces in southern Yemen on Saturday, a military commander told The National.

The rapid action forces stormed Wadi Al Khayala in Abyan province, where there is a military base that was briefly seized by Al Qaeda on Friday before being recaptured by the forces allied with the Yemeni government.

Three security soldiers were also killed and four injured in clashes with the militants when an explosive device was detonated in their vehicle.

Col Mohamed Salem Al Bouhar, a commander in the elite forces who participated in the battle, accused the opposition Al Islah Party of feeding the terrorists in the southern region of the country.

Col Al Bouhar said that Al Qaeda sleeper cells have been fought back by forces backed by the Arab Coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in the southern provinces, but that the cells still receive logistical support from specific parties in Yemen.

“The ultimate goal for these parties is to combat the newly built forces that counter the terrorist cells because these parties support them for political purposes,” said Col Al Bouhar.

On Friday, Yemeni forces secured a southern military base that was overrun by Al Qaeda militants in an attack that killed 19 soldiers.

The militants held the Security Belt forces camp in Al Mahfed district of Abyan province for hours before it was retaken with the help of the Elite Forces from the neighbouring Shabwa province.

The Al Qaeda militants occupied the camp for four hours until the Elite Forces and jets from the Saudi-led military coalition intervened at 10am on Friday.

The United Nations food agency on Sunday said it reached a deal with Yemen’s Houthi rebels to resume aid deliveries to rebel-held areas in the country after suspending relief in June.

The World Food Progamme accused the rebels of stealing food assistance in early June and said the suspension would be confined to the capital, Sanaa.

“Following negotiations with the Sanaa-based authorities, the WFP signed a high-level agreement that is an important step towards safeguards that guarantee the accountability of our humanitarian operation in Yemen,” Herve Verhoosel, a spokesperson for the WFP, told The National.

Also on Sunday, a high-ranking commander from the Houthi rebels was killed in a raid in Hajer, northern Al Dhalea province. Arab Coalition jets launched several airstrikes targeting Houthi gatherings in Baja and Al Joub village in northern Hajer front northern Al Dhalea, other airstrikes targeted Houthi reinforcements in Yaees.

Updated: August 4, 2019 04:24 PM

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