A massive combing operation has been launched to clear the remaining Al-Qaida militants from all areas in Yemen's Shabwa province, a day after Al-Qaida retreated from its main stronghold in the Azzan area.
Forces and popular committees are participating in the operation, which was commenced in the capital Ataq and headed toward the southern parts.
The operation coincided with a failed attempt to assassin Shabwa governor Ali Al-Ahmedi and the suicide attack which killed commander of the southern military region in Aden this morning, Salim Qatan
Over the past few months, the Yemeni army in association with tribal fighters has fought Al-Qaida militants and driven them out of their strongholds in Abyan province. The militants received severe blows, with hundreds of them including senior leaders killed, injured and arrested.
After the army retook control of Abyan, it pursued the fleeing militants targeting their positions in Shabwa and other nearby provinces. Tens of militants have been killed in airstrikes and battles so far.
The US is providing direct support on the offensive against Al-Qaida, which exploited the unrest last year to occupy key towns and declare them Islamic emirates in south Yemen.