Saa, April 2: The terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Thursday launched a massive assault on al-Mukalla, the capital city of the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramaut, and freed 300 prisoners from the central prison.
Dozens of AQAP fighters simultaneously attacked six military positions and several provincial government offices, as well as three state banks and the main provincial prison, security force sources told Efe news agency. The sources explained that the jihadis attacked the Republican Palace, the local residence of the president when he is in the region, with explosives, machine guns and gredes. During the attack on the central prison, four prison guards were killed along with five prisoners and three assailants, according to the sources.
Dozens of the 300 freed convicts are Al Qaeda members, including the group’s leader, Khaled Said Batarfi, the sources added. Army units tried to repel the assault that was launched amidst severe instability in the country following the fleeing of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi from Saa, and the airstrikes launched by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies against positions of the Shia Houthi rebels, who have several provinces under their control. (IANS)