Hadramaut recruits ready to take on al-Qaeda

By Abu Bakr al-Yamani in Sanaa


Yemeni forces raise their weapons as they arrive in Abyan province for an operation to drive out al-Qaeda on April 23rd, 2016. Security forces arrested an al-Qaeda leader in the province on Monday (October 2nd). [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Yemen's Hadramaut Valley held a graduation ceremony on Monday (October 2nd) for a new batch of military recruits who will be sent to confront al-Qaeda.

Earlier this year, Hadramaut Valley authorities opened the door for locals to join the security forces as part of measures to boost security in the valley's districts.

The move came in response to a spate of security breaches and assassinations targeting army and security personnel.

During the graduation ceremony, Hadramaut deputy governor Issam al-Kathiri vowed to eliminate those who are undermining the province's stability and security, unless they stop what they are doing and return to their senses.

"Stop what you are doing and return to the right path, otherwise death will be waiting for you," he warned.

"The mission of the 500-man battalion is to maintain security and stability, primarily against al-Qaeda saboteurs and terrorists, and also against all those who are trying to undermine our security and stability," he said.

"More military battalions will graduate in the coming days for this same mission," he told Al-Mashareq.

"Those recruits have received intensive and advanced training, and they will be an addition to the security and national army forces," he added.

Al-Qaeda leader arrested

Meanwhile, security forces in Abyan province on Monday conducted a morning raid in Mudiyah district, arresting al-Qaeda leader Mohammed al-Hakam and other elements of the group who were with him.

As he retuned from the raid, local media reported, Col. Fawwaz al-Shabhi, commander of the 1st Brigade’s 2nd Support Battalion, survived an assassination attempt after three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded.

In mid-September, the Yemeni government formed a security and military committee to combat al-Qaeda in Hadramaut and Shabwa provinces.

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