UAE-backed Yemeni troops kill 5 al-Qaida militants in raid

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-23 04:08:55|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni troops backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a fresh anti-terror operation against the al-Qaida group in southeastern Yemen on Saturday.

The operation targeted an al-Qaida-held area in Shabwa province, killing at least five militants, local sources reported.

Besides, several al-Qaida militants were captured including a local commander while scores of others fled into mountainous areas in Shabwa's Markhah district.

A Shabwa-based military official told Xinhua that the operation "succeeded and local forces seized a training center for al-Qaida militants."

The UAE-backed forces will continue fighting terrorism in Shabwa and launch a series of anti-terror operations in the next days, the official said.

Another medical official confirmed to Xinhua that "at least three soldiers of the Shabwani government troops were killed and five others injured during the fighting."

On Friday, a senior leader of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) named as Nayif Tarmum was killed after refusing to surrender himself to local troops during a similar anti-terror operation.

The AQAP network, active mainly in eastern and southern provinces, is responsible for many high-profile attacks against security forces in Yemen.

Since the U.S. President Donald Trump approved the expanded military operations against the group, the U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against AQAP fighters in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country, including intensified overnight airstrikes and ground military raids against the al-Qaida hideouts in the mountainous areas of al-Bayda and southeastern province of Shabwa.

The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, seen by the United States as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has been exploiting prolonged deadly conflicts between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in the south.