Yemen government forces make key gains against Qaeda

Forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni president patrol a street in the southern city of Lahj on April 24, 2016, during an operation to drive Al-Qaeda fighters out of the southern provincesYemeni troops backed by Arab coalition air strikes on Sunday recaptured a southeastern provincial capital held by Al-Qaeda for the past year and an oil terminal, military sources told AFP. “We entered the city centre (of Mukalla) and were met by no resistance from Al-Qaeda militants who withdrew west” towards the vast desert in Hadramawt and Shabwa provinces, a military officer told AFP by phone from the city the jihadists seized last April. The officer, who requested anonymity, said residents of Mukalla, home to an estimated 200,000 people, had appealed to the jihadists to spare the city the destruction of fighting and to withdraw.

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