Major General Al Bahsani (right) at a press conference in Mukalla on Tuesday. The officer spoke about new ways to fight terrorist outfits while hailing UAE and Saudi help on the ground. Image Credit: Abduallah Bukair

Al Mukalla: The commander of Al Mukalla-based 2nd Military Region, in Southern Yemen, has promised draconian security measures to hunt down Al Qaida and Daesh-linked affiliates to prevent them from carrying out more deadly attacks in Hadramout province.

Speaking to media in the city of Al Mukalla on Tuesday, Major General Faraj Salman Al Bahsani said the death toll from suicide attacks on security sites on Monday evening rose to 48 after the death of several critically injured soldiers.

“We have the ability to get rid of them with the support of our allies from the coalition forces.”

The shadowy branch of Daesh in Yemen on Monday claimed responsibility for three suicide bombings in the city of Al Mukalla. The attackers approached soldiers at sunset and pretended to be fast-breaking food distributors.

Al Bahsani said combat measures would include increasing raids on suspect hideouts and deploying more forces inside the city. “We would hold accountable those people who provide sanctuary to those terrorist elements. We are putting into place a strict security plan,”

The army general said that the security services have arrested many suspected militants who were about to carry out attacks on security and military facilities in the city.

Monday’s suicide attacks were the deadliest terrorist bombing since June 24 when government forces pushed Al Qaida militants out of the city. On May 15, a suicide bomber detonated explosive material inside a gathering of soldiers and recruits, killing at least 30 and injuring many others. To nail Al Qaida militants who dress up as women to avoid arrest, Al Bahsani said policewomen would be deployed at checkpoints to check vehicles that carry women, and soldiers would be provided with explosive detectors.

“We are going to comb all neighbourhood of the city of Al Mukalla. I urge people to endure any nuisance during raids,” he said.

General Al Bahsani, who credits the UAE with assisting his forces liberate Al Mukalla from Al Qaida, said that UAE officers who are stationed in the city rang him immediately after the attacks and offered help. “We hold dear the coalition, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

Since the beginning of the war against Al Houthis in March last year, UAE military officers have trained thousands of young people who participated in many massive military operations that pushed rebel fighters and Al Qaida militants out of major cities in Southern Yemen.