AP NEWS

Yemen’s government forces arrest key al-Qaida leader

May 19, 2019

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government say they have captured a key al-Qaida leader in the southwestern province of Taiz.

The military said in a statement that special forces had arrested Bilal Muhammed Ali al-Wafi on Saturday in the mountain area of Habashi.

Al-Wafi, in his 30s, is a key member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, and has helped to carry out several deadly attacks including the 2012 bombing of a Yemeni military parade that killed dozens of troops.

The U.S. designated al-Wafi as a terrorist in 2017.

Al-Qaida has maintained a foothold in the country throughout the chaos and violence of Yemen’s four-year civil war, as the internationally recognized government, backed by Saudi Arabia, battles Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

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