Baku. 20 February. REPORT.AZ/ Dozens of al Qaeda militants took control of the southern Yemeni town of Ahwar on Saturday, residents said, consolidating the group’s control over much of the region, Report informs citing the foreign media.
The coastal city and surrounding district, in Abyan province, is home to over 30,000 people and is an important geographic link between the major port city of Mukalla to the east and the smaller town of Zinjibar, both of which Al Qaeda seized months ago.
“At dawn this morning the Al Qaeda gunmen clashed with the Popular Resistance forces, killing three of them. They attacked the sheikh in charge of the area and after he escaped set up street checkpoints and planted their black flag on government buildings,” one resident said.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has expanded during Yemen’s civil war, which triggered a military intervention by a Gulf Arab coalition last March.