Yemeni government forces backed by an Arab coalition seized an Al Qaida training camp in the southeastern province of Hadramout Saturday along with “large amounts” of weapons, its governor told AFP.
It comes during an offensive launched last month to recapture areas in the south overrun by Al Qaida and which on Sunday saw loyalist forces recapture Hadramout provincial capital Mukalla, which the terrorists had occupied for a year.
“The offensive is continuing in Qoton to hunt down Al Qaida militants,” said Hadramout governor Major General Ahmad Bin Braik, referring to a town north of Mukalla.
Braik said government forces overran an Al Qaida training camp in the town where they “confiscated large amounts of weapons” and “arrested eight Al Qaida militants”.
“Mukalla is now a safe city,” Braik added.
Government troops that seized the city were backed by special forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as by coalition air strikes, the alliance said in a statement.
At least 27 Yemeni soldiers died in the fight to retake Mukalla, military officials and medics said.
The coalition has said that more than 800 terrorists were killed.
The Yemen-based Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is regarded by Washington as the network’s most dangerous branch, and AQAP militants have come under repeated US air and drone strikes.