Yemen's Hadramaut rolls out new security plan

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


A member of the Yemeni forces frisks a man at a checkpoint in the former al-Qaeda stronghold of al-Mukalla in Hadramaut province on November 30th, 2018. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

A new security plan was rolled out in the Yemeni province of Hadramaut on Saturday (September 7th) in immediate response to the assassination of an officer of the Hadramaut Elite Forces, a military official said.

Hadramaut province’s security committee on Saturday approved the new plan in an effort to boost security in the province's cities and at checkpoints, address recent security breaches and confront terrorist plots.

Hadramaut governor and 2nd Military District Commander Maj. Gen. Faraj Salmeen al-Bahsani, who chaired the meeting, vowed to uproot terrorism from the province.

"Terrorism is a serious scourge, and there are some who are waiting for a chance to target Hadramaut, its officials and residents," he said.

"Military and security institutions will be on the lookout for them, and will protect the province and preserve its security."

The meeting was held one day after Capt. Abdul Waseh al-Aydarous, an officer of the 2nd Military District in Hadramaut Coast, was killed in Wadi Hadramaut.

On Friday, local residents found al-Aydarous's body in his car near a grove of palms in Houtat Sultana, east of Seiyun.

The perpetrator of the attack was swiftly arrested, authorities said.

"The current situation and extraordinary circumstances require us to raise the security alert and redouble our efforts at checkpoints to confront any attempts to target security officials or undermine Hadramaut’s security," al-Bahsani said.

He urged security personnel to avoid entering public spaces or unpopulated areas without sufficient protection, adding that "we owe it to them to protect their security".

Need for integrated security

Al-Bahsani credited the arrest of al-Aydarous's assassin "to co-ordination between the military and security agencies of Hadramaut Coast and Wadi Hadramaut".

"The meeting stressed the need to proceed with the war on terrorism and raise the security alert of military and security units," 2nd Military District spokesman Hesham al-Jabri told Al-Mashareq.

"The meeting also stressed the importance of integrated security, intelligence and military efforts between the Hadramaut Coast and Wadi Hadramaut to strongly confront terrorist plots," he added.

Political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq al-Qaeda has particularly sought to target security personnel of the 1st and 2nd military districts.

"This is because they played a direct role in liberating Hadramaut Coast from al-Qaeda’s control," he said, noting that "al-Qaeda elements are trying to exact revenge on the Hadramaut Elite Forces".

"Officer al-Aydarous played a key role in liberating al-Mukalla from al-Qaeda in April 2016," he added.

Al-Qaeda seized control of al-Mukalla on April 1st, 2015, and ruled with an iron fist until it was ousted just over a year later.

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