A coalition of tribal fighters riding in pickup trucks have entered Yemen’s coastal city of Mukalla in an effort to displace al-Qaida militiamen who seized the Gulf of Aden town just two days before.
“The fighters are part of a tribal alliance in the eastern Hadramawt province which has pledged to restore security after the militants seized Mukalla on Thursday and ransacked buildings, broke into banks and freed prisoners.
“The tribal force had already taken over two military bases further east along the coast at Shihr and Riyan, which were abandoned by the army earlier this week.”
The move comes days after Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies parts of the port city of Aden, about 270 miles to the west. That was occurring as fighters from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the regional affiliate of the terrorist network, laid siege to Mukalla.
Meanwhile an airstrike, likely by Saudi-led air assets, on a village near the capital Sanaa killed a family of nine, residents said on Saturday, according to Reuters.
The sudden rise of the Houthi rebels, who have made a blitzkrieg-style push from territory in recent months, has alarmed Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations Security Council is meeting today to discuss a proposal for a humanitarian pause in the airstrikes on Yemen, Reuters says.