Yemen’s government forces arrest key al-Qaeda leader

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Forces loyal to the Yemeni legitimate government backed by the Arab coalition say they have captured a key al-Qaeda leader in the southwestern province of Taiz.

The military said in a statement that special forces had arrested Bilal Muhammed Ali al-Wafi on Saturday in the mountain area of Habashi.

Al-Wafi, in his 30s, is a key member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, and has helped to carry out several deadly attacks including the 2012 bombing of a Yemeni military parade that killed dozens of troops.

The US designated al-Wafi as a terrorist in 2017.

Al-Qaeda has maintained a foothold in the country throughout the chaos of Yemen’s four-year civil war, as the Yemeni legitimate government backed by the Arab coalition, battles Iran-aligned Houthi militia.

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