Al-Qaeda militants enter southern Yemen city

Al-Qaeda militants enter southern Yemen city
Parts of Yemen's south were once al-Qaeda strongholds until the army flushed most militants in 2014. The extremist group today launched an offensive in the area to re-establish presence.
2 min read
09 March, 2015
A protest against armed militias and Al-Qaeda, Sanna, January 17, 2015. [AFP]

An al-Qaeda raid on a Yemeni military base in Mahfad, southern Yemen, left three soldiers dead according to a military source.

Yemen's al-Qaeda affiliate entered the town of Mahfad on Monday morning.

The city is a short distance from the provisional capital of Yemen, Aden, where President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi is based along with his government.

A military source said the fighters displayed al-Qaeda insignia and after the capture of Mahfad set up checkpoints around the city's entry points.

The al-Qaeda militants are reported to have launched an assault on a Yemeni army armoured brigade base in the area, and are currently besieging it from all sides.

     The fighters displayed al-Qaeda insignia and set up checkpoints at the city's entry points.

In recent years, Mahfad had been a stronghold for al-Qaeda in Yemen, before the army launched a counterattack in mid-2014 and successfully routed the extremist group.

In al-Bayda, central Yemen, sources say that Houthi militants have stormed the home of the secretary general of the Salafist al-Rashad Party, Abdul Wahab al-Humaiqani.

The Houthis have launched an assault on government-controlled areas since its capture of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in January, and have also faced stiff resistance from extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, who are ideologically opposed to the Zaydi-Shia movement.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.