Dozens dead or wounded in coalition raids on Qaeda in Yemen

AFP , Tuesday 22 Mar 2016

Yemen unrest
Yemeni fighters loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, hold a position during clashes with Shiite Huthi rebels west of the city of Taez, on March 21, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

Saudi-led coalition air strikes hit an Al-Qaeda training camp in the network's southeastern Yemen stronghold on Tuesday, killing and wounding dozens, government officials in the region said.

"An Arab coalition air force targeted an Al-Qaeda training camp, killing and wounding dozens" in Hajr, west of Hadramawt's provincial capital Mukalla which has been held by the jihadists since April.

Tribal sources in the area told AFP that a series of air strikes hit the camp and that wounded militants were taken to a hospital in Mukalla.

Witnesses there reported seeing around nine vehicles carrying casualties from the area.

Dozens of Al-Qaeda militants were meanwhile seen rushing to the hospital to donate blood, according to residents.

The coalition, which launched an air campaign against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen a year ago, began targeting jihadists for the first time last week in Yemen's second city Aden.

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have taken advantage of the conflict between the rebels and coalition-backed loyalist forces to reinforce their presence in the south and east of the country.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is classified by the United States as the network's deadliest franchise and had claimed attacks on the West in the past.

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