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Iran Press TV

Al-Qaeda captures key military camp, heavy weapons in S Yemen

Iran Press TV

Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:21PM

Al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen have captured a strategic military camp in the southern port city of al-Mukalla, seizing dozens of tanks, rocket launchers, and other heavy weapons.

Al-Qaeda militants "took control of the 27th Mechanized Brigade's camp and seized heavy weapons, including tanks and artillery,' an unnamed Yemeni official told AFP on Friday.

The camp, which had remained loyal to Yemeni fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, was seized 'without resistance," said residents of Mukalla, the capital city of Hadhramaut province, the country's largest.

On Thursday, the militants captured a major airport and an oil terminal in Mukalla.

Al-Qaeda militants attacked Mukalla, a city of more than 200,000 people, on April 2 and seized key areas in less than 24 hours. They also freed over 300 prisoners, including Khalid Batarfi, one of their leaders, who had been held for more than four years.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), known as the most lethal arm of the terrorist network, is currently engaged in a battle against the popular committees loyal to Houthi Ansarullah fighters, who control the Yemeni capital Sana'a and other major provinces.

The battle comes against the backdrop of an ongoing aggression by Saudi Arabia against Yemen with fighter jets bombing the civilians and the infrastructure in areas under control of the Ansarullah movement while they also airdrop arms and ammunition to the AQAP militants.

There have been increased warnings that the aggression could strengthen the grip of terror groups across Yemen. Ansarullah revolutionaries have repeatedly declared the fight against extremism and terrorism as one of their major objectives.

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, without a UN mandate, in a bid to restore power to Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.

According to sources in the Yemeni army, around 2,600 people have been killed during the Saudi aggression.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. Many international aid organizations have sought clearances to dispatch medical and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea to civilians in need.

MSM/AS/MHB



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