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Yemeni Forces Take Control of Mukalla

Security officials in Yemen said they have retaken the southern city of Mukalla, a day after reports that Yemeni fighters killed more than 800 al-Qaida militants in a single offensive.

Yemeni forces entered Mukalla late Monday after two days of heavy airstrikes on the coastal town that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has controlled for the past year.

On Monday, Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen said they killed more than 800 al-Qaida fighters in a single attack Sunday in the southeastern town held by the militant group for the past year.

Attack claims

The death toll claimed by the coalition could not be independently verified.

The coalition command said in a statement that several al-Qaida leaders were among the dead. It also said all militants who were not killed in the attack fled.

The military action was part of an international effort to support the Yemeni government and to exert influence over the Yemeni cities that are under the control of al-Qaida, the statement said.

The coalition also said it hopes to “allow intensifying humanitarian relief efforts in those cities and alleviate suffering of the brotherly people of Yemen.”

It is not known whether any civilians were killed during the fighting.