Yemen's Army and security forces entered the al-Qaida controlled town of Shabwa province on Thursday as part of the government's retaliation against the Islamist group's sabotage of the nation's oil industry. According to the Yemeni news media, the Arab country lost more than $380 million during 2014's first quarter as a result terrorist attacks aimed at sabotaging the oil pipeline, an official report said.
Yemen officials pointed out that the government's share, as a result of sabotage, dropped to 3.1 million barrels during the period, while 6.8 million barrels were produced during the first quarter of 2013.
Revenues declined in Yemen from oil exports and with only $44 million in March 2014 alone, according to Yemeni media.
Yemeni banking industry claims that terrorist sabotage assaults by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) resulted in a lower quantity of oil allocated for domestic consumption.
According to Saba news agency, security and stability gradually returned to the areas from which AQAP Islamists were removed, with the majority of the terrorists in Shabwa and Mahfad district retreating for this latest show of force.
According to counterterrorism and law enforcement expert Chuck Knowles, the Yemeni forces are continuing to hunt down the AQAP terrorists in all directions.
The capture of the AQAP stronghold in Azzan is considered one of the primary goals of the Yemen government's major offensive in the last ten days.
In addition, Saba news agency reported on Thursday that two al-Qaida leaders were gunned down and killed in Shabwa.
The two men, Abu Mosab al-Kuwaiti and Abu-Walid al-Humaiqani, were killed in Shabwa as they were fleeing from the military and security forces.
On Wednesday, Yemen government officials said Wael Abdullah al-Waeli, a ring leader linked to al-Qaida who allegedly planned and executed a number of terrorist operations, was killed by police officers in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. His attacks included the assassination of a French diplomat working for the European Union (EU) mission in Yemen.
"Al-Waeli has masterminded the abduction of a Dutch journalist and his wife, released earlier, in addition to his involvement in the terrorist attack on the central jail in Sanaa last February, in which 29 terrorists escaped," the state-run Saba News Agency reported.