[QODLink]
Middle East
Another al-Qaeda stronghold 'falls' in Yemen
Officials say southern port city of Shuqra recaptured weeks after victory in towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2012 23:59



Yemen's army has recaptured the last al-Qaeda stronghold in southern Abyan province, officials and residents said.

This is the third jihadist bastion in the south to fall in the space of a week, a military official said on Friday.

"The army has taken control of Shuqra," said the official, adding that "troops have taken positions in the centre" of the coastal city while fighters fled.

At least 17 fighters have been killed during the clashes, while, the government troops continued fighting in the adjacent province of Shabwa in their bid to recapture al-Qaeda's last bastion, Azzan.

The port town was the last major al-Qaeda stronghold in Abyan province to fall to government forces, which launched an all-out offensive last month that had already resulted in the recapture of the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.

The rout of the Islamists from of Shuqra puts an end to their year-long reign in Abyan, during which they governed large swathes of the province according to strict Islamic sharia rules.

The al-Qaeda fighters had captured three towns in the southern Abyan province amid a power vacuum last year as popular protests weakened former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's grip on power.

227

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.