Sana’a: Security services in the Yemen’s port city of Aden arrested 27 suspected Al Qaida militants after foiling an attack on Saturday morning against a major oil refinery in the city.

Brigadier Najeeb Moughles, deputy chief of Aden Security, told the news site of ministry of defence that Aden police in conjunction with the army arrested six armed Al Qaida militants in a car shortly before carrying out their attack on Aden oil refinery. Twenty one more militants, including senior figures, were subsequently arrested in the same city.

Al Qaida conducted a large scale attack in Aden in December when a car bomb went off outsides the headquarters of Aden Security, seriously wounding policemen and destroyed part of the building.

In the capital, the ministry of interior approved a new plan aimed at curtailing growing lack of security in Sana’a following a recent attack on Central Prison that freed 29 prisoners. The plan, that came into force on Sunday, is based on dividing the capital into 12 security zones and upgrading Control and Command Rooms in the ministry as to enable them to quickly respond to security communications.

President of Yemen, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, criticised the country’s weak security performance that enabled Al Qaida operatives to attack Sana’a prison and release 29 prisoners.

Kidnappings, assassinations and attacks on government and foreign facilities have recently increased in the capital as the country is struggling to recover from the political standoff following the departure of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.