Subscribe

Al Qaeda frees 300 inmates from Yemeni jail, officials say

The attack on the jail early Thursday took place in the coastal city of al-Mukalla.

Al Qaeda militants in Yemen stormed the center of the coastal city of al-Mukalla early Thursday, freeing about 300 inmates, including scores of militants, as Iranian-backed Shiite rebels fought their way into the heart of the country's second city Aden to the west, Yemeni security officials said.

They said Al Qaeda militants were also deployed across major roads leading into al-Mukalla, capital of the vast eastern province of Hadramawt, in an apparent attempt to prevent anyone from retaking it. The province is still mostly in the hands of forces loyal to embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country last month.

Al Qaeda was able to capture al-Mukalla because of the turmoil gripping Yemen, where a Saudi-led air campaign is targeting Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and rival groups are fighting it out across much of the country.

The Houthis and their allies on Thursday breached the defenses of forces loyal to Hadi in the coastal city of Aden, reaching an area known as the Crater in the heart of the city. The rebels were inching closer to the presidential compound, a cluster of colonial-era villas perched atop a steep rocky hill that juts into the ocean, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Known as the Maashouqa Palace, the complex was home to Hadi until he fled Aden last month in the face of a major push south by the Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis captured the capital Sanaa in September and have since seized much of northern Yemen.

Saudi-led airstrikes, now in their second week, have focused on Aden the last two days, bombing rebels and Saleh loyalists approaching the city from the east and north in the hope of keeping Aden free for a possible return of Hadi to retake the reins of power.

Hadi fled Sanaa in February and set himself and the remnants of his government up in Aden.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK