Yemen’s President Hadi makes appearance in Mukalla
The president praised efforts to ‘eradicate the forces of evil and terrorism’ and bring ‘security and stability’ back to Mukalla
Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi visited Mukalla on the southeast coast on Sunday, an official said, his first trip there since loyalist forces retook it from al-Qaeda in April. Hadi and Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher met political and military officials from across Mukalla’s Hadramawt province, the official said.
The president praised efforts in the province to “eradicate the forces of evil and terrorism” and bring “security and stability” back to Mukalla. Quoted by the official news agency Saba, Hadi stressed the need to “tighten our ranks to meet the challenges we face”, a reference to al-Qaeda fighters still active across the vast province.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government has been based in second city Aden since it was retaken from Houthi rebels last year. Retaking Mukalla was facilitated by the intervention of special forces, members of a Saudi-led coalition that backs Hadi’s government.
A local official survived an assassination attempt on Sunday in Shibam, around 100 kilometers north of Mukalla, in an attack security sources blamed on al-Qaeda. They said Faraj Neji survived an ambush but two of his guards were killed.
A military official said Sunday that five rebels were killed in a coalition air raid in the southern Shabwa province. Also in Shabwa, three armed tribesmen were killed in an ambush by fighters belonging to the Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda, security officials said.
In the north, a Saudi soldier was killed in a cross-border firefight with rebels, the interior ministry in Riyadh said on Sunday. A border post was attacked overnight by Houthis, a spokesman said, adding that a soldier wounded in the exchange died before reaching hospital.