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ADEN, Yemen, Newly-trained Yemeni forces captured a senior commander of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, in south-eastern Yemen, early Tuesday, a government official said.

The forces launched an anti-terror military operation and stormed a house in a mountainous village of Hadramout province, sparking short clashes with terrorists there, the official said.

During the raid, the Yemeni counter-terrorism soldiers, succeeded in capturing the senior commander of the terrorist group, identified as Abu Ali al-Sayari, a Saudi national of Yemeni origin, the source said.

Three other al-Qaeda operatives were captured, and five terrorists, engaged in the fighting, were killed at the scene, said the official.

A Yemeni intelligence officer confirmed the capture and described the arrested man as the second most senior leader, in al-Qaeda's terrorist network in Hadramout province, and called the arrest a "critical victory made by the newly-trained forces, in the war against terrorist groups."

The intelligence source said, the second-highest leader of al-Qaeda in Hadramout "committed several crimes, including the slaughtering of Yemeni soldiers kidnapped by terrorists in 2014."

The al-Qaeda militant group that lost several of its commanders in recent U.S. air strikes, has yet to make comments.

Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional Al-Qaeda insurgencies in the Middle East.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known locally as "Ansar al-Sharia," emerged in Jan, 2009, and has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks against Yemen's army and governmental institutions.

The AQAP and the Daesh-linked terrorists, took advantage of the security vacuum and ongoing civil war, to expand their influence and seize more territories in southern Yemen.

Security in Yemen has deteriorated since Mar, 2015, when war broke out between the Shiite Houthi group, supported by former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and government forces backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.

Over 10,000 people have been killed in ground battles and air strikes since then, many of them civilians.-


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