- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Security officials say al Qaeda militants in Yemen have stormed the center of the coastal city of al-Mukalla and freed about 300 inmates, including scores of militants, and that Shiite rebels have fought their way into the heart of Aden to the west.

The officials say al Qaeda militants were deployed on Thursday across major roads leading into al-Mukalla in an apparent bid to thwart any attempt to retake the city.

The capture of al-Mukalla comes as a Saudi-led air campaign targeting Iranian-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, enters its second week.

The Houthis and their allies breached the defenses of forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in the coastal city of Aden on Thursday, reaching the city center.

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