- Government: Yemen’s army frees a brigade that had been under siege in Abyan province
- The brigade and its hundreds of troops were under siege since late May.
- The president is recuperating in Saudi Arabia from a bomb attack
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh congratulated the nation’s security forces for freeing a military brigade from suspected al Qaeda militants after a months-long siege, state media reported.
Thousands of troops freed the brigade in the Abyan province, the Interior Ministry reported Saturday.
Saleh said the army and security forces battled terrorists who “wanted to convert Abyan province into an den of terrorism and extremists,” the Yemeni state news agency reported Saturday.
Saleh is recuperating in Saudi Arabia from a bomb attack.
Government soldiers recaptured Zinjibar, the Abyan provincial capital, and broke the siege after a nine-week military operation, according to the Yemeni Embassy in Washington.
The militants had seized towns in Abyan, but most of the territories are now under the control of the Yemeni army, the embassy said in a statement. Special forces will continue to secure Zinjibar and other recaptured towns, the statement said.
The brigade and its hundreds of troops were under siege since late May.
More than 100,000 Abyan residents were evacuated to neighboring provinces, the local al-Saleh charity organization reported.
Government forces have been trying to enter Zinjibar since June.