Spotlight: Tightened security measures in Yemen's Aden to curb spike of assassinations

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-10 20:31:49|Editor: zh
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Soldiers riding in a pickup truck are seen in a street in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, Dec. 10, 2019. Local authorities on Tuesday beefed up security measures across the country's strategic southern port city of Aden in an attempt to curb the spike of assassinations in the city. (Photo by Murad Abdo/Xinhua)

ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Local authorities on Tuesday beefed up security measures across the country's strategic southern port city of Aden in an attempt to curb the spike of assassinations in the city.

Supported by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, the local newly-recruited security forces began with a large campaign in many neighborhoods of Aden amid heightened vigilance.

During the campaign, Aden's security command took a number of decisions, including banning the use of motorcycles and carrying weapons in the southern city.

Aden was plunged into a wave of assassinations and armed attacks conducted by masked gunmen riding motorcycles in the past few days.

The motorcycle-riding gunmen used their silenced weapons and killed several security officials in different parts Aden in separate drive-by shooting attacks.

On Saturday, two masked gunmen opened fire from their assault rifles and killed Colonel Mohamed Saleh, a senior official of the security department in Aden, before fleeing to unknown whereabouts using a speeding motorcycle.

An official of Aden's security command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that "there's a real intention to ensure the safety of people in Aden and eradicating the terrorist cells that assassinate the security officials."

"A number of decisions will be taken in the next few days after banning the use of motorcycles which are the main problem that helped in facilitating the assassinations," he said.

He added that the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces and all the security units operating in Aden would not tolerate lawlessness and use of motorcycles or carrying weapons illegally.

Another official of Aden's local government said that they have taken a firm stand to end the phenomenon of assassinations that struck the city recently and called on local residents to cooperate with the security forces.

"Residents should help the local troops in banning motorcycles that are posing serious security risks for the city," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Local Yemeni experts believe that tightening the security measures in Aden will play a vital role in reducing the crime rates but won't be able to terminate the problem of assassinations.

Ali Bin Hadi, a retired Yemeni military official, told Xinhua that "those who commit crimes or assassinations against the security officials are well-trained and linked to terrorist organizations that are exploiting the current chaos."

"Tightening the security measures is not enough but it will curb the spike of assassinations. The whole country is still engaged in ongoing military conflict which makes it difficult for the forces to ban carrying weapons permanently in the city," he said.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for conducting two assassinations against officials of the newly-recruited southern security forces in Aden's neighborhood of Mansourah earlier this week.

Politicians and high-ranking southern security commanders have been the prime targets in such armed attacks launched by unknown gunmen in recent months, particularly in Aden and neighboring provinces.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iran-backed Shiite Houthis 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 Houthis forced him into exile.

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