Al-Qaeda takes control of area in south of Yemen

The militant group is battling Shiite Houthi rebels expanding their control in Yemen

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Al-Qaeda militants seized control of Al`Adayn directorate in Yemen’s southern Ibb governorate overnight on Thursday, Al Arabiya correspondent in Sanaa reported.

Earlier on Wednesday al-Qaeda militants had clashed in central Yemen with Shiite Houthi rebels expanding their control of the country. At least 12 people were killed in the clashes, according to a security official.

Militants from al-Qaeda, which is active in several provinces of Yemen, confronted the rebels who tried to expand out of Rada, which is in Baida province southeast of the capital Sanaa.

Officially known as Ansarullah, the rebels stretched their control to the shores of the Red Sea on Tuesday, seizing control of the Hudeida port city hours after a new premier was named in a bid to defuse the country's political crisis.

The rebels, traditionally based in the north, have been battling troops and Sunni militants in recent months as part of their bid to spread their control across the country.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group's Yemeni branch, is considered by the United States to be the most dangerous affiliate and its leaders have been targeted repeatedly by U.S. drone strikes.

The group has vowed to fight the Shiite rebels in defense of Yemen's Sunni majority, and has also repeatedly targeted security forces, particularly in the south and east.

The impoverished country has been wracked by political turmoil and sporadic violence since an uprising toppled strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012.

[With AFP]

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