ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Newly-recruited security forces on Monday launched an anti-terror operation and managed to seize a terrorist cell linked to assassinations in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, a security official told Xinhua.
The southern forces, acting on an intelligence tip-off, succeeded in arresting five terrorist elements who were residing in an apartment located in one of Aden's crowded neighborhoods, the source said on condition of anonymity.
He said that initial investigations with the arrested terrorists revealed that they were active in drive-by shootings and assassinations in Aden.
According to the source of Aden's security command, "the terrorist cell members admitted carrying out several assassinations against key officials and politicians in southern Yemen."
Another military official based in Aden confirmed to Xinhua that "our security forces aborted a well-prepared plot masterminded by the regional outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group."
"The plot was aimed at assassinating senior military leaders and key political officials loyal to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in southern Yemen," the source said.
A local journalist close to the authorities in Aden said that "we closely noticed confessions and shocking evidence after arresting the terrorist cell that's tasked with assassinations. An Islamist party was the main supporter of the cell."
Security forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates, later launched an investigation and raided locations held by suspected gunmen in Aden.
Politicians and high-ranking southern security commanders have been the prime targets in kidnapping incidents as well as armed attacks launched by unknown gunmen in recent months.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014.
Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile.