ADEN, Yemen, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni security forces carried out on Sunday an anti-terror operation against hideouts of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the southern province of Abyan, a security official told Xinhua.
The local source based in Abyan said on condition of anonymity that newly-recruited security forces backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a large anti-terror military campaign to clear a number of mountains and valleys located in the Mahfad town, a key previous hideout of AQAP militants.
The anti-terror campaign aimed at "capturing a number of terrorist elements and limiting the movement of other local armed groups that support the existence of AQAP militants and provide them with weapons in that areas," he said.
He added that the UAE-backed Yemeni security forces succeeded in seizing arms and ammunition, including hand grenades, improvised explosive devices and communication equipment inside the mountainous hideouts of the al-Qaida militants who fled to other areas.
The Yemen-based AQAP network mostly operating in eastern and southern provinces has been responsible for many attacks against the security forces in the country.
Provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, former main strongholds of AQAP, have been the scene of sporadic attacks or heavy clashes between UAE-backed security forces and al-Qaida militants from time to time.
The AQAP, seen by the United States as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern provinces.