An elite Yemeni force backed by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed 30 suspected Al-Qaeda fighters in the southeast of the country in a 24-hour operation that ended Wednesday, the army said.

The force raided an Al-Qaeda hideout west of the port city of Mukalla Tuesday in a "very successful" operation that lasted 24 hours, it said in a statement.

It said that 30 suspected militants were killed and several others were captured, increasing a Tuesday death toll of six alleged extremists.

Four Yemeni troops were also killed and 12 were wounded in the fighting, it added.

The extremists were "planning to carry out terrorist attacks" in the country, already torn apart by a 19-month-long conflict between rebels and loyalist forces supported by the coalition, the army said.

Mukalla was the most populous Yemeni city under Al-Qaeda control until government troops and coalition special forces recaptured it in April, ending a year of extremist rule.

But the extremists regrouped in the surrounding mountains from where they have carried out a series of deadly revenge attacks.

A security official told AFP on Tuesday that troops launched a "preemptive operation" against the extremists, who continued to pose a threat to Mukalla.

Source: National News Agency

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