ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni security forces on Thursday detained a high-level commander of the Yemen-based al- Qaida wing in the southern province of Abyan, the state-run Saba news agency reported.
"A high-level al-Qaida commander in southern region, Sulman Hassan Murshid, has been captured in Abyan during an operation by security forces," the agency said in a brief text message obtained by Xinhua.
"Sulman was involved in several terrorist operations in Abyan," the statement said.
A military official told Xinhua anonymously that "the captured al-Qaida leader conducted roadside bombings against security forces and was responsible for moving explosive devices into the neighboring southern province of Aden."
"The security force detained several other al-Qaida suspects and seized weapons during the operation in Abyan," the military source said.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot has exploited Yemen's year- long unrest and controlled several southern cities for more than one year before they were driven out by a U.S.-backed army offensive.
In June, Yemen's military officials announced seizing al-Qaida' s last bastion in the country's troubled south following the military offensive. However, local military and anti-terrorism experts said the Yemeni al-Qaida branch remained a major threat to the impoverished Arab country.