Security forces arrest al-Qaida branch commander south of Yemen

Photo: A number of anti-terrorist forces in Aden


The Yemeni security authorities arrested a commander of al-Qaida branch in a raid against his house in the southern province of Abyan on Monday, a government official told Xinhua.

The government source described the captured al-Qaida militant as an important person in the terrorist group and participated in masterminding armed attacks against security forces in Abyan.

A source of the security forces in Abyan said "after receiving intelligence tips, our troops deployed and arrested Mohamed Hakim, in his mid-forties, and three others in Mudiya area of Abyan province."

The security forces also seized heavy weapons and explosives inside a building located in the same area, according to the source.

In neighboring Lahj province, a group of al-Qaida militants launched attack and targeted a checkpoint manned by security forces, causing casualties among the soldiers.

Al-Qaida militants have intensified their drive-by attacks on security checkpoints in the Yemeni southern provinces as government forces backed by the United Arab Emirates have increased military operations against the group hideouts in the war-plagued Arab country.

Last month, the Yemeni government forces and the UAE armed forces operating in the southern province of Aden launched a new anti-terror military offensive "to root out al-Qaida militants from their strongholds in neighboring southern province of Abyan."

Thousands of newly-recruited southern soldiers joined the campaign after receiving military training and financial support from the UAE forces.

The ongoing anti-terror campaign resulted in kicking al-Qaida militants out from several villages in Abyan province in addition to arresting more than 50 terrorists who were moved to jails in the port city of Aden.