A top al-Qaeda leader turned himself in to Yemeni security forces on Thursday (November 2nd) in the midst of a campaign to purge extremist elements from al-Mahfad district in southern Yemen, a local official told Al-Mashareq.
Mohammed Awad Mehfar, one of al-Qaeda's senior leaders in Abyan province, has surrendered to the commander of the rapid response forces, Abdul Latif al-Sayed, al-Mahfad director-general Ahmed al-Rabie told Al-Mashareq.
Al-Sayed turned Mehfar over to the Arab coalition forces command in Aden, he said.
This comes as joint Security Belt and rapid response forces tasked with enforcing security in al-Mahfad are working with locals to capture any remaining al-Qaeda elements in the district.
Al-Mahfad, al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the southern province of Abyan, was liberated from the group's control on October 29th.
"The Security Belt and rapid response forces carried out a comb-and-search campaign at the houses of some elements with links to al-Qaeda leaders," al-Rabie said.
The campaign primarily aimed to apprehend foreign al-Qaeda elements that are still hiding in the district, he said.
Al-Mahfad is witnessing enhanced security and stability following the deployment of security forces in the area, he added.