Ayisha Amr The city of Mukalla is located in the eastern part of Yemen overlooking the Arabian Sea and it is the provincial capital of Yemen's largest province of Hadramawt.
Ayisha Amr
Ayisha Amr In Mukalla, the Central Bank of Yemen stands vacant and stained in soot after al Qaeda stormed it and seized millions of dollars in April.
Ayisha Amr A billboard carries a saying by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, in which he urges women of Jihad to remain steadfast in the faith and prepare their sons for sacrifices.
Ayisha Amr A billboard on Mukalla’s main street urge people to pray.
Ayisha Amr A Sufi shrine in Mukalla destroyed by al Qaeda.
Ayisha Amr A torched building in the port of Mukalla where a U.S. drone struck an al Qaeda member in April.
Ayisha Amr Abdel-Hakim Mahfouz, the secretary general of the Mukalla Civilian Council, which was formed as part of an al Qaeda power-sharing scheme.
Ayisha Amr A demolished Chinese monument in Mukalla that al Qaeda militants destroyed then the group apologized in a statement saying it was a mistake.
Ayisha Amr Part of the destroyed corniche in Mukalla where U.S. drone killed al Qaeda founder and leader Nasir al-Wahishi in April.
Ayisha Amr The faces of women in billboards were blackened by al Qaeda.
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Ayisha Amr Like dominoes, Mukalla's old buildings are lined up next to each other under the foot of the mountain, separated by narrow streets and ancient shrines.
Ayisha Amr The Mukalla court house, which al Qaeda turned into a building for Hisba, the religious police.
Ayisha Amr A site along the Mukalla corniche where a US drone strike killed six of al Qaeda members including its commander Nasr al-Ansy and spokesman Muhannad Ghallab on April 22.
Ayisha Amr The Republican Palace in Mukalla is used by al Qaeda as the group's convention center.

Al Qaeda Conquers Yemen's Mukalla

By Ayisha Amr

Around midnight on April 2, bombs began falling on the coastal city of Mukalla, the capital of Yemen’s largest province, Hadramawt. Soon after, it became clear that the city was under siege by al Qaeda. Around 200 of the militants were from Mukalla and another 200 drove in from other parts of Yemen in their pickup trucks. After three days of fighting around the army barracks, the city’s commanders surrendered in return for the ability to leave unharmed.

Once in control, the militants freed some 300 prisoners, including three from al Qaeda; one of them was Khaled Batarfi, a top leader. They then headed over to the city’s main bank, stealing more than 24 billion rials ($111 million). Nine billion rials were later destroyed by a U.S. drone strike. After the bank heist, Al Qaeda seized six of the city’s main army and security barracks—two of which are full of large weapons.

“Every official—the governor and the security and military commanders—fled the city,” a Yemeni journalist said. “They vanished and we were left all alone, face to face with al Qaeda.”

Click here to see the full article by Ayisha Amr.

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