Mohammed Al-Naqeeb, a spokesman for the pro-independence Southern Transitional Council, which is in charge of military operations, stated that the forces had pushed their way towards Al-Khealah valley, which is south of Al-Mahfad district, in order to rid the area of Al-Qaeda militants who took refuge in the valley after being pushed out of other strongholds over the last two months.
A long line of armoured vehicles with dozens of soldiers was observed moving into the rugged mountain terrain, and met with very little resistance from Al-Qaeda militants who fled before the soldiers arrived.
The deaths of three soldiers and the injuries to four wounded on Friday, after their car was destroyed by a roadside bomb Al-Naqeeb told Al-Naqeeb.
A number of troops from the government have been killed as well as 136 injured since the start of East Arrow military operations against Al-Qaeda in the Abyan and Shabwa provinces , two months ago.
Afraid Al-Qaeda fighters sought refuge in the highlands of sand which connect Abyan, Al-Bayda and Shabwa as well as in Wadi Hadramout. Others moved into Abyan’s urban areas and created “sleeper cells” with the intention of killing officials from the military and security agencies and setting off IEDs.
Security officials have in Al-Mahfad are imposing a late-night curfew that runs from 8 p.m. until five a.m. to curb Al-Qaeda militants’ activity as well as prevent them from infiltrating urban areas.
In September, pro-independence military and security groups began a joint military operation that took place in Abyan as well as Shabwa provinces in order to eliminate Al-Qaeda militants from mountains and valleys that were long hideouts.
Yemeni forces have forced Al-Qaeda away from Lawder, Moudia and Al-Mahfad in Abyan and Abyan’s Omaran Valley in Abyan, and have also removed terrorists out of Al-Mousenah within Shabwa.
Separately, Yemen’s state-run news agency announced the previous day that Iranian-funded Houthis have fired mortars on two villages that are controlled by government officials of the Yemeni administration in the city of Taiz and wounded five people.
Two babies and a woman who was pregnant were among the victims by the blast of mortar that struck Salo and Dhabab both to the south and west of Taiz.
The army of Yemen announced it was on the verge of announcing that 3 Houthis have been killed, and a number of more were wounded in the clashes to the to the west of Taiz in the course of attempting to take over government positions.