Yemeni forces killed two local Al-Qaeda leaders who were planning attacks on vital installations and arrested a third, state news agency Saba reported Thursday.
An army operation Wednesday in the eastern province of Marib left “two dangerous leading Al-Qaeda elements dead,” Saba quoted an army spokesman as saying.
Local media identified the pair as Anwar al-Sanaani and Moamer al-Nasheri.
Troops also “arrested a leading Al-Qaeda member after he was wounded” in the same operation, the spokesman said.
The army seized explosive belts, bombs and “computers and documents containing terrorist plots they were planning to carry out.”
The raid in Marib coincided with the launch on Wednesday by the Yemeni army of an all-out offensive to recapture villages from Al-Qaeda groups in the southeastern province of Hadramawt in which 10 people died, seven of them extremists.
Army forces “will continue with determination their fight against the elements of terrorism, saboteurs, and outlaws,” the army spokesman said.
Al-Qaeda exploited a weakening of central government control during the 2011 uprising that forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power to seize large swathes of the south and east.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is based in Yemen, is considered by the United States to be the most dangerous branch of the global extremist network.