Security Belt Forces pursue al-Qaeda cells in Abyan district

By Nabil Abdullah a-Tamimi in Aden


Yemeni forces take position at the entrance to Abyan province as they take part in an operation to drive al-Qaeda out of the southern provincial capital of Zinjibar on April 23rd, 2016. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP] 

Security Belt Forces in Abyan province's al-Mahfad district have raised their level of combat readiness and are going after remaining al-Qaeda cells to thwart their plans to undermine security and stability, local officials said.

This comes alongside arrangements being made in co-ordination with district officials and tribal leaders to pursue the extremist cells involved in recent attacks on security forces.

Col. Saleh Salem al-Kazemi, commander of the Security Belt Forces's Rapid Intervention forces in al-Mahfad, survived a June 29th assassination attempt when his convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device (IED).

Other such attacks on members of the security forces in recent months have resulted in deaths and injuries.

In response, Security Belt Forces are continuing their efforts to enhance security and stability and respond to any attempt to bring chaos and instability back to the district, said Security Belt Forces Commander in al-Mahfad, Rashad Ali.

The recent al-Qaeda attacks will not deter security forces from carrying out their tasks and quashing the group's dream of returning to al-Mahfad, he said.

Raising level of readiness

The enhanced security measures come within the framework of a June 30th Ministry of Interior directive, al-Mahfad district director-general Ahmed al-Rabie told Al-Mashareq.

This calls for an increased deployment of security forces and for the development of a new security plan, he said.

"Al-Mahfad district is more stable now than it has been in years, but occasional IED incidents disrupt the district’s security and stability," he said.

Raising the Security Belt Forces' level of readiness comes in conjunction with tribal efforts to crack down on al-Qaeda elements who seek to undermine stability and target district residents who serve in the security forces, he said.

Al-Qaeda has been lashing out at members of these forces in retaliation for the active role they have played in fighting the extremist group, he said.

Al-Mahfad district residents have been co-operating with the security efforts and providing them with information on extremist elements, al-Rabie said.

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