Skies of the port city of Mukalla in Yemen lit up with fireworks on Monday as locals celebrated the one-year anniversary of liberation from al-Qaeda.
Hundreds of residents took to the streets of the capital of the southeastern governorate of Hadramout to mark the April 24 anniversary after al-Qaeda retreated from the region.
Exploiting the chaos engulfing Yemen, in mid-April 2015 al-Qaeda established itself as a major power in the desert region of Hadramout, as the war-torn country’s exiled government was occupied in a conflict with the Houthi militias.
A year later, Yemeni government troops backed by the Arab coalition entered Mukalla, taking control of its port and airport and setting up checkpoints throughout the southern city. The move appeared to be part of a wider offensive aimed at taking back parts of the country from al-Qaeda.