Mideast Yemen
Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, chant slogans to protest against Saudi-led airstrikes, during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Hani Mohammed—AP

Al-Qaeda Group Frees Hundreds of Inmates in Yemen

Apr 02, 2015

The powerful al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen stormed a southern port city and freed hundreds of prisoners as it took advantage of mounting turmoil in the country.

The New York Times reports that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launched an offensive early Thursday against the city of al-Mukalla, targeting the security headquarters, government buildings and the central prison. Witnesses reported seeing hundreds of inmates fleeing, according to the Times.

Civil War In Yemen In 1962
In 1962, a coup ousted the monarchy ruling North Yemen and spawned a devastating civil war between the newly established Yemen Arab Republic and royalist forces. The conflict, which drew Egypt in on the side of the republicans against the Saudi-backed royalists, lasted through the end of the decadeGery Gerard—Paris Match/Getty Images
Civil War In Yemen In 1962
An insurgency known as the “Aden Emergency” emerges after a grenade is thrown at a group of British military officers in a part of southern Yemen, which was still a British protectorate.
Yemen Aden British Troop Withdrawal
Ali Abdullah Saleh;Ali Salem Al Baidh
Fights Between North And South Yemen In Yemen On May 17, 1994.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants bomb the U.S.S. Cole in the port of Aden, killing 17 sailors. A government crackdown on al-Qaeda cells that year would fuel a war between the government and Sunni extremists that would intensify after Saleh’s ouster.
Protesters march during an anti-government demonstration in Radfan, a district in the southern Yemeni province of Lahej
Government forces fire on protesters, killing 52 and escalating violence.
A blast at the presidential compound badly burns President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia for treatment, but ultimately returns to his post.
After agreeing to an internationally brokered deal to transfer power to his vice president, Saleh resigns and hands power to Abd-Rabbu Mansur al-Hadi.
The Houthis, an insurgency comprising members of the Shi’ite Zaidi minority, take control of Sana’a after years of clashes with government forces in the north.
Hadi submits his resignation as power-sharing negotiations with the Houthis crumble.
In 1962, a coup ousted the monarchy ruling North Yemen and spawned a devastating civil war between the newly established
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Gery Gerard—Paris Match/Getty Images
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Yemen has descended into civil war since the rebel Houthis from the north seized the capital, Sana’a, last fall and ousted President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi earlier this year. Clashes between the advancing Houthis and forces loyal to Hadi intensified last month and prompted neighboring Saudi Arabia to launch airstrikes to push back the predominantly Shi’ite Houthis, who are perceived to have support from Saudi rival Iran.

The city of al-Mukalla had been spared the fighting, but onlookers have long raised concerns that the unrest could fuel AQAP’s growth in strength and stature, especially as the Sunni extremist group positions itself as a leading opposition force to the Houthis.

[New York Times]

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