The Yemeni army backed by local fighters was able to regain control of parts of Aden seized by al Qaeda on Wednesday as part of a push to clear the hardline group from its stronghold in the southern port city, a security official said.
After three days of clashes, the forces managed to take over the central prison, surrounding buildings and residential areas in Mansoura district. They also arrested several fighters while others fled, the official said.
Aden is the temporary home of Yemen’s government which was driven out of the capital Sanaa by a separate conflict with Iran-allied Houthi rebels in 2014. The war has drawn in a Saudi-led military alliance to back up the legitimate government and keep the Houthis from taking over the country. 6,000 people died since the war started.
Radical militants from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS have taken advantage of the chaos in the year-long war, especially in the southern provinces.
A powerful al-Qaeda affiliate has seized a large swath of territory across the country’s south and east, while an upstart ISIS branch has carried out a series of attacks.