Tribesmen shout slogans as they attend a gathering held to show support to the new government formed by Yemen's armed Houthi movement and its political allies, in Sanaa, Yemen on Tuesday. Image Credit: Reuters

Al Mukalla: Police in the strategic Yemeni city of Aden busted a cell linked to Daesh responsible for assassinating intelligence officers and carrying out other terror attacks.

The police said in a statement on Tuesday morning that Yemeni special forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, raided different locations in Aden and arrested eight Daesh-linked operatives who admitted to murdering retired security officers in the city. The police found in the raided houses pistol silencers and letters sent to the militants from their handlers in Syria and Iraq.

Aden, the second city in Yemen and the base of the internationally recognised president and his government, had experienced a security vacuum immediately after coalition-supported forces expelled Al Houthis from the city in July Last year. Al Qaida, Daesh and local armed groups cashed in on the insecurity and tried to gain a toehold in region. The militant groups claimed responsibility for dozens of hit-and run attacks and suicide bombings against security forces. On Tuesday, police in Aden praised the recent successful raids on Al Qaida and Deash hideouts as an indication of the security apparatus reasserting itself.

On Friday, Aden police announced that an explosive material factory used by Daesh-linked militants to make car bombs and support suicide attacks had been disabled in Aden’s Enma district.

In the province of Hadramout, army troops arrested six Al Qaida militants and seized five tonnes of explosives stored in a house in the coastal city of Sheher, a former stronghold of the militant groups. The Al Mukalla-based 2nd Military Region said in a statement that the troops raided a house in the city after receiving tipoffs that Al Qaida was plotting a major terrorist attack on government facilities in the province. The army besieged the houses, the statement said, forcing the militants to give up after a brief exchange of gunfire. Al Qaida has suffered fatal blows since early this year when the government forces, backed by massive air support from the coalition, drove them out from all of their strongholds in south Yemen, including Al Mukalla, the fifth largest city in Yemen.

Meanwhile, intensive fighting broke out on Tuesday between government forces and Al Houthis in Jawf, Taiz, Marib, Shabwa and Hajja. Local army commanders in the city of Taiz, southern Yemen, said on Tuesday that their forces were pushing to take control of new strategic locations on the eastern fringes of the city so as to fully break Al Houthis’ siege. The rebel forces responded by heavily shelling residential areas and military sites controlled by the government forces with mortars, tanks and anti-aircraft guns.