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Qaeda threatens attacks on homes of Yemeni forces

The militants last month fled the key southeastern city of Mukalla due to the government offensive

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Al-Qaeda in Yemen threatened Wednesday to target the homes of officers and soldiers who took part in a government offensive that drove militants out of key areas.

Government troops backed by air and ground support from a Saudi-led coalition launched last month a widespread operation against jihadists in south and southeastern Yemen.

“We warn all military leaders and soldiers who participated in the campaign that their houses are now legitimate targets for us,” said an online statement issued by the Abyan province branch of Ansar al-Sharia, another name used by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Al-Qaeda fighters remain in Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan province, after government forces advanced towards the city in late April. Residents took to the streets demanding the extremists leave to spare the city any fighting.

The militants last month fled the key southeastern city of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, and other coastal areas, due to the government offensive.

Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is regarded by Washington as the network’s most dangerous branch, and AQAP militants have come under repeated US air and drone strikes.