Al-Qaeda elements on Saturday (January 12th) staged an unsuccessful attempt to break inmates out of the central prison in the Hadramaut provincial capital of al-Mukalla, security sources said.
The 2nd Military District’s engineering units thwarted the attack, which had sought to pressure the authorities to release a number of prisoners.
"Engineering units dismantled several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by terrorist elements to target civilians, create chaos and disrupt calm in al-Mukalla," the 2nd Military District Command said in a statement.
"The operation is part of our counter-terrorism efforts to thwart terrorist operations," the statement added. "The success of our engineering units in dismantling the IEDs can be credited to the vigilance of our intelligence units."
Hadramaut governor and 2nd Military District commander Maj. Gen. Faraj Salmeen al-Bahsani commended the engineering units on their alertness.
"The terrorist operation was thwarted thanks to the vigilance of our soldiers," he said, praising the intelligence efforts which help to prevent terror plots.
"Al-Qaeda’s aim behind this operation is to cause confusion and attract attention that it has prisoners, and that if they are not released, it may carry out other acts of violence," district spokesman Hesham al-Jabri told Al-Mashareq.
Engineering units dismantled three IEDs, he said, adding that civilians "could have been hurt if this operation had been carried out".
Al-Jabri said the district has been making an effort to step up security and pre-emptive measures to safeguard against potential attacks.
"The fact that the operation was thwarted means that very strong measures are already in place, and that the required precautionary measures are actually implemented on the ground," he said.