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Iran Press TV

Al-Qaeda terrorists overrun town in southern Yemen

Iran Press TV

Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:51AM

Members of the al-Qaeda terrorist group have reportedly taken over a town in Yemen's southern province of Abyan amid the continuing Saudi war that has thrown the country into chaos.

Al-Qaeda militants seized control of the town of Ahwar, located more than 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of the capital, Sana'a, on Saturday morning, the Yemen Press news website reported.

They slaughtered a number of militiamen loyal to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi there, it added.

The militants have set up a number of checkpoints across the town, and also taken control of several government buildings there, the report said.

Saudi military aircraft, meanwhile, carried out aerial strikes against a residential neighborhood in the Sirwah district of Yemen's central province of Ma'rib, leveling seven buildings to the ground. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties.

On Friday, two children lost their lives and another sustained injuries when artillery rounds fired by Saudi military forces hit a densely-populated area in Yemen's southern province of Ta'izz.

Elsewhere, in the Qa'atabah district of the southern province of Dhale, a child was critically wounded after Saudi-backed mercenaries opened fire indiscriminately in an outdoor market.

The resident coordinator of the United Nations (UN) in Yemen slammed the lack of international attention to the nearly year-long conflict in Yemen.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Friday, Jamie McGoldrick said that "civilians are the losers" of the war and that the crisis in Yemen is being "overlooked" amid greater attention to the Syria conflict.

Yemen has been under Saudi attacks since last March in a bid to bring Hadi back to power. The army is a regular target of airstrikes which have taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country's facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

More than 8,300 people, among them over 2,235 children, have been killed and 16,015 others injured since March 2015.

The al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen has taken advantage of the chaos and the breakdown of security to tighten its grip on parts of southeast Yemen.

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has also gained ground in and around the main southern city of Aden after the army and their Houthi allies were evicted by a Saudi-led offensive.



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