UAE-backed Yemeni force captures Al-Qaeda stronghold

UAE-backed Yemeni force captures Al-Qaeda stronghold
UAE-backed Yemeni soldiers stand guard on Mukalla coasts in southern Yemen in this April 22, 2017. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 30 October 2017

UAE-backed Yemeni force captures Al-Qaeda stronghold

UAE-backed Yemeni force captures Al-Qaeda stronghold

ADEN: An elite Yemeni force formed by the United Arab Emirates has captured the town of Mahfad, an Al-Qaeda stronghold in the southern province of Abyan, a military official said Sunday.
“Our forces have entered Mahfad and seized the highway,” Col. Munir Al-Yafei told AFP.
The key highway connects government stronghold Aden to Ataq, capital of oil-rich Shabwa province.
“We have erected roadblocks and will soon start scouring valleys and mountains,” the source said.
The advance was made without much resistance from Al-Qaeda, whose fighters have been retreating without a fight against government troops in the area for months.
A truck driven by a suicide bomber, however, exploded when the elite forces entered Mahfad, killing one soldier and wounding five, Yafei said.
Mahfad had become one of the main Al-Qaeda strongholds in southern Yemen and many jihadists retreated, fleeing the advance in Aden, Abyan, Lahij and Shabwa provinces.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has flourished in the chaos of Yemen’s civil war, which pits the UAE and Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The UAE has been playing a key role in a Saudi-led military campaign to prop up Hadi’s government after the Houthis forced him into exile.
In August, Emirati-trained Yemeni special forces launched a US-backed operation against AQAP, also the target of a long-running US drone campaign.
More than 8,600 people have been killed in Yemen since the coalition joined the war in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.
Another 2,100 have died of cholera this year.
The UN Human Rights Council agreed in September to send war crimes investigators to Yemen.


Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur
Updated 19 January 2021

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

JEDDAH: The death toll in a new tribal conflict in Sudan rose to 130 on Monday as clashes in West Darfur spread south.
At least 47 people were killed in South Darfur after 83 died and tens of thousands were displaced in West Darfur in the previous two days. It was the worst violence since a peace agreement last October raised hopes of an end to years of war.
Sudan has been undergoing a fragile transition since the removal from power of dictator Omar Bashir in April 2019 after mass protests against his rule.
The new bloodshed followed the end of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur on Dec. 31.
The aid group Save the Children warned: “In the chaos, we fear many children will have been separated from their parents, and will now be at risk of exploitation.” Its Sudan country director Arshad Malik said the many wounded had overwhelmed health centers, and injured and dying people were lying on the floors and corridors of hospitals.
“We call on all parties to the violence in West Darfur to lay down their arms immediately, before the situation gets out of control,” he said.
Authorities in Khartoum said they had sent a delegation to contain the situation. The UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric urged them to “bring an end to the fighting.”