Al-Qaeda arms cache seized in Yemen's Khanfar district
Security forces in Yemen's Abyan province on Monday (April 15th) found an al-Qaeda weapons cache after a month-long tracking process that included intelligence information provided by local residents, security sources said.
Security Belt and Rapid Intervention forces located the cache in the al-Khabar area of Khanfar district in the eastern part of Abyan province.
It contained barrels of powder, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), landmines and materials used in making explosives.
In a statement, the Security Belt Forces said they had seized three barrels of powder, two cartons of detonators used in making IEDs, 240 anti-personnel landmines, four bags of artillery fuses and several mortars.
They also seized an ammunition belt for a heavy machine gun.
"After about one month of monitoring and tracking, and thanks to the co-operation of local residents, we were able to find a weapons cache," said Maj. Ali al-Masahraj, commander of the Rapid Intervention Forces in al-Khabar.
The cache belonged to "the terror groups that controlled the area" before the Security Belt Forces "cracked down on them in all areas, valleys and mountains", he said in the statement.
"Al-Qaeda elements had chosen a protected place away from people's eyes, and if it had not been for the co-operation of some loyal people, we could not have discovered this cache," he said.
The weapons, ammunition and explosives that were seized have been handed over to the Security Belt Forces command at the 7th October camp, he said.
Help from local population
The hard work and vigilance of security forces operating in the al-Khabar sector helped uncover the weapons cache, said Brig. Gen. Abdul Latif al-Sayed, commander of the Security Belt and Rapid Intervention forces in Abyan.
The continuing co-operation of the local population has enhanced the success of the security forces and has helped to foster stability in the community, Khanfar local council secretary-general Nasser al-Mansari told Al-Mashareq.
"The people of Khanfar had immensely suffered under al-Qaeda, which controlled the district at different intervals between 2011 and 2014," he said.
"Their houses were destroyed, and they were forced to abandon their farms, and were even forced out of their areas into neighbouring provinces when al-Qaeda controlled Jaar, the Khanfar district capital," he added.
Given this history, al-Mansari said, they are now "very keen" to ensure they do not relive the suffering they endured under al-Qaeda's control.