Terrorism

Hadramaut force on guard against al-Qaeda

By Faisal Darem in Sanaa

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Yemenis inspect a burning vehicle following a reported suicide car bombing in the Lahj provincial capital of Huta, an al-Qaeda stronghold, on March 27th. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Hadramaut elite forces on Monday (June 26th) arrested an al-Qaeda element as he staked out a military checkpoint in the provincial capital of al-Mukalla.

"The al-Qaeda element attracted the attention of soldiers, who arrested and handed him over to the intelligence," the elite force said in a statement. "Upon interrogation he admitted he was on a reconnaissance mission."

Al-Mukalla directorate head Abdul Baqi al-Huthari hailed "the vigilance of the elite forces and their high sense of security".

"Now Hadramaut has a force consisting of its own sons who sacrifice their own lives for the city," he told Al-Mashareq.

"The elite forces have enforced a security plan since June 25th aimed at protecting al-Mukalla residents and visitors," he added.

"Security measures there include searching visitors and checking their identification documents at checkpoints at city entrances," al-Huthari said.

The 2nd military district had announced it would ramp up security in al-Mukalla and other coastal cities, and check the identification documents of people visiting the city during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Hadramaut deputy governor Mohammed al-Amoudi told Al-Mashareq the elite forces have significantly restricted the movements of extremists who seek to disrupt the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

Despite the heightened vigilance in the city, three Yemeni soldiers were killed Wednesday (June 28th) when suspected al-Qaeda gunmen opened fire on a military zone in the province, AFP reported.

"Three soldiers were killed in the attack on the 1st military zone in al-Qoton district, and the gunmen managed to get away," a military source said. "We suspect the gunmen belong to al-Qaeda."

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