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Authorities in Aden ban motorbikes to stop assassinations

Military campaign is being planned to retake a district of Aden of the armed groups

Gulf News

Al Mukalla: Security forces in Yemen’s port city of Aden on Tuesday seized dozens of motorbikes to stop hit and run attacks that claimed the lives of many security officers in the city, officials and residents said on Tuesday.

Nezar Anwar, Aden governor’s spokesperson, told Gulf News that the Supreme Security Committee in Aden, headed by the governor, ordered on Monday security authorities in the city to impound motorbikes and carefully check cars to put an end to motorbike-borne assassinations.

“This is part of a bigger plan to put an end of assassinations and chaos in the city,” Anwar said. The strategic city, the country’s temporary capital and the base of government of president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, have been shaken by a wave of drive-by killings and car bomb attacks that targeted security officers, judges and government officials.

Other parts of the plan including banning arms, forcing armed groups to hand over facilities to the government and reviving police stations and judicial authorities.

“It will take some time for these measures to yield fruit,” Anwar said. But as the government forces were impounding motorbikes, the assailants tried to escape capture by using cars in their killings. Anwar said: “Police find it difficult to chase killers on motorbikes as they quickly disappear into narrow streets,”

On Monday, masked gunmen killed Abdul Hadi Al Muflihi, a judge responsible for terrorism-related crimes near his house in Al Mansoura district. Hundreds of newly trained forces have recently taken charge of key government facilities including the airport, seaport, the governor’s office and many police stations. Local authorities say that most of the city’s districts are under government control except Al Mansoura where armed groups linked to Daesh other militiamen roam freely.

Shallal Ali Shaye, the city’s chief of security, has said in a recent meeting with government officials that a military campaign is being planned to retake the district of the armed groups. Explaining proliferation of arms in the district, Anwar said that Al Mansoura was a base for the resistance during the fighting against Al Houthis and a huge number of arms was distributed to local fighters to confront the rebels, adding that Daesh fighters exploited chaos to loot military camps and stored the arms in the district.

Also in Aden, dozens of policemen marched on Tuesday in streets demanding end to assassinations and protection. Aden Al Ghad, an independent news site, reported that the policemen, who were protesting with photos of two of their colleagues killed on January 13, staged a sit-in in front of the presidential palace in Aden’s Tawahi district.

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