Deployments boost security in Yemen's Shabwa, Abyan

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


A picture taken from a UAE military vehicle on August 8th, 2018 shows Yemeni soldiers riding armed pickups through a mountain road north of the Hadramaut provincial capital of al-Mukalla. [Karim Sahib/AFP]

Shabwa Elite Forces on Wednesday (March 20th) completed their deployment to Merkhah As-Sufla district in Shabwa province, a local official said.

The new deployment augments an earlier deployment at the end of 2018, Shabwa Elite Forces Commander Lt. Col. Mohammed al-Buhr told Al-Mashareq.

"The deployment was made at the request of local population," he said, who had stressed the need for the Shabwa Elite Forces to complete their deployment in the area by setting up checkpoints and cracking down on al-Qaeda elements.

Merkhah As-Sufla district borders al-Bayda province, he added, "and the goal of deployment there is to tighten the noose on al-Qaeda elements" who have attempted to use the district as a crossing point.

"The people there received our forces very warmly," he said, noting that district residents have been supporting and co-operating with the security efforts.

There have been calls for the Shabwa Elite Forces to deploy to the province's Merkhah al-Ulya district as well, he said, noting however that Yemeni forces already have a presence there.

Meanwhile, Security Belt Forces in Abyan province's al-Mahfad district have set up new checkpoints in a number of areas frequented by al-Qaeda, including al-Khayala and al-Habadh, said al-Mahfad district director Ahmed al-Rabie.

"These new military checkpoints were set up to secure those areas against attacks by al-Qaeda elements who become active when the security forces are absent," he told Al-Mashareq.

Al-Qaeda elements had been exploiting the previous security loophole in that area to move more freely and stage attacks on Security Belt Forces, he added.

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