Hadramaut elite forces renew vow to rout al-Qaeda

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


Yemeni forces take position as they close in on the suspected location of an al-Qaeda leader during an offensive in Hadramaut province's Wadi al-Masini on February 21st. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Yemen's Hadramaut elite forces have renewed their vow to fight al-Qaeda until the group has been fully driven from the southern province following a deadly Wednesday (March 28th) attack near al-Mukalla.

Ten soldiers were killed and four were wounded when al-Qaeda elements attacked al-Aqiq checkpoint in Wadi Hajar, west of the Hadramaut provincial capital.

Five al-Qaeda elements were killed in the clash, which lasted about three hours.

The four wounded soldiers have been taken to hospital for treatment.

"Al-Qaeda elements on board three [pickup trucks] and three motorcycles attacked the checkpoint," the 2nd Military District in Hadramaut said in a statement.

"Although they outnumbered the soldiers, the latter bravely defended the dignity of Hadramaut," the statement said.

Commitment to continue

The 2nd Military District reiterated the commitment of all of its commanders, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers to continue on their path and pursue the enemies of the homeland, security and peace.

Hadramaut deputy governor Sheikh Amr Ben Habrish confirmed the resolve of the Hadramaut elite forces to rid Yemen of terrorism and extremism.

"Al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the soldiers while they were performing their duty at the checkpoint," he told Al-Mashareq.

"The goal of al-Qaeda is to undermine security and stability and disrupt development in Hadramaut," he added.

Al-Qaeda has been trying to exact revenge against Hadramaut elite forces since the elite forces managed to liberate Wadi al-Masini from the group, said Adnan al-Humairi, an expert on extremist groups.

"Operation al-Faisal on February 20th destroyed al-Qaeda’s most important stronghold which was used as a base for the group’s operations in three provinces -- Hadramaut, Shabwa and Marib," he told Al-Mashareq.

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