SANAA: Al Qaeda has seized control of a major airport, a sea port and an oil terminal in southern Yemen, local media reported on Thursday.
According to Military officials and residents, Al Qaeda fighters clashed briefly with members of one of Yemen’s largest brigades outside Mukalla.
The militants then seized control of the Riyan airport and moved to secure their hold on the city’s main sea port, which is also an oil terminal.
The security officials, speaking from Sanaa on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press, said the leaders of the brigade in charge of protecting the entire area fled.
The latest advance marks a major gain for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni affiliate is known, which has been linked to several failed attacks on the U.S. and is widely seen as the global network’s most dangerous franchise.
The group claimed responsibility for the attack on a French satirical magazine earlier this year.