Al Mukalla: The governor of Yemen’s southeastern province of Hadramout, Major General Ahmad Bin Bourek, landed in the province’s capital as more military forces were deployed in the city and neighbouring areas to protect them from possible counterattack by the defeated Al Qaida.
Backed by heavy air support from the Saudi-led coalition, government forces stormed the city of Al Mukalla on Sunday night following heavy clashes with Al Qaida. Local officials say that Bin Bourek is expected to closely watch a security plan to foil any attempt by Al Qaida to make a comeback.
“The governor has to urgently deal with issues including restoring security to the city. He has to prevent the reoccurrence of explosions and drive-by shootings,” a government official told Gulf News on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to journalists.
The official said the governor’s presence in the city sends a message of assurance to the people. “In the coming days, he has to solve the problem of power cuts by feeding electricity stations with fuel or people will face tough summer.”
In the city, hundreds of heavily armed soldiers were deployed around key government facilities shortly after the commander of military offensive, Faraj Salmeen Al Bohsini, announced night-time curfew and ban on motorbikes in the city. Locals also reported seeing the coalition warships off the coast of the city.
Days after liberation, the city has become largely peaceful with shops opening, and car traffic returning to normal. Government forces also patrolled Sheher and Ghayl Bawazer, two major cities in Hadramout that fell to Al Qaida last year.
Also in the south, local media reports said the coalition warplanes and suspected US drones carried out several strikes on fleeing Al Qaida fighters. In Abyan province, two air strikes killed on Monday and Tuesday at least five Al Qaida operatives in two areas. In Shabwa, another air strikes on Monday killed ten militants.
Army officials in Hadramout think that Al Qaida militants who fled Al Mukalla are taking shelter in Shabwa and Abyan.