Yemeni government forces retake key sites from al-Qaeda

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Yemeni military units have retaken strategic sites from al-Qaeda militants following an operation in the country’s southern Abyan province, a government official told Xinhua on Monday.

   The local government official said on condition of anonymity that during the past 24 hours, the army troops captured Janan Valley and surrounding mountainous areas after storming the Hajlah military camp used by al-Qaeda in the Mudiyah district of Abyan.

   Despite encountering landmines and other booby traps, Yemeni government forces were able to advance and clear out the entrenched militants following days of clashes, he said.

   The gains come after a major offensive launched in July aimed at driving al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) from its hideouts in the mountainous areas connecting Abyan to the provinces of Shabwa and Bayda.

   The ongoing civil war and power vacuum in Yemen have allowed the AQAP to flourish, posing a severe security threat within Yemen’s borders and beyond.  

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