Yemeni forces arrest 2 al-Qaeda elements behind foiled bomb attack

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


Yemeni security forces man a checkpoint in the former al-Qaeda bastion of al-Mukallah in Hadramaut province, on November 30th, 2018. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Yemen's 1st Military District forces in Hadramaut province arrested two al-Qaeda elements following an exchange of gunfire in the town of Shibam on Sunday (January 27th).

The clashes broke out after al-Qaeda elements planted an improvised explosive device (IED) on the main street in Shibam, and placed the al-Qaeda flag next to it, sparking panic among residents.

Military engineers on Sunday morning blew up the IED, the 1st Military District said in a statement.

"As soon as the report [of the IED] was received at the Command and Control Centre, several specialists went to Shibam to deal with the IED," it said.

However, when the force arrived, shots were fired at it from a nearby farm and a soldier was lightly wounded in the ensuing exchange of gunfire, the statement said.

"The main road in the district was sealed off, the farm was searched and two suspects were arrested," it said.

"These cowardly acts only indicate that terrorism and its sponsors are living their final days after they suffered several painful blows," the 1st Military District said, adding that several senior terrorists have been arrested and a number of terror cells dismantled in Wadi Hadramaut in the second half of 2018 and early 2019.

'Security situation under control'

"People were surprised to see an al-Qaeda flag in the middle of Seyoun Street [in Shibam], where it was placed [by] an IED," Shibam resident Zayed Hamed told Al-Mashareq.

"Security forces sealed off the streets and stopped traffic, especially at streets leading to hospitals, as a precautionary measure," he said.

This incident "reflects the bankruptcy of al-Qaeda which is only trying to cause unrest and undermine security and stability", said Shibam director Abdul-Wahab bin Ali Jaber.

"The security situation is under control," he told Al-Mashareq, urging residents to "act in the interest of their own security and stability by reporting suspicious acts".

Vice President and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Ali Mohsen Saleh on Saturday met with the security committee of valley and desert districts of Hadramaut province.

The meeting, attended by military and security commanders, discussed a host of issues related to the military and security situation in Hadramaut, and efforts to improve the performance of security forces in the province.

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