File - In this Tuesday, June 30, 2015 photo, People stand amid wreckage of a vehicle at the site of a car bomb attack near a military hospital in Sanaa, Yemen.(AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
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Al-Qaeda may have been pushed out of the enclave it carved out in Yemen as the country descended into civil war, but the militants are still entrenched in other parts of the country's south, reaping profits from smuggled fuel. Scores of militants were killed in a Gulf Arab-backed offensive on Al-Qaeda's de facto capital of Mukalla, Yemen's third-largest seaport, but hundreds fled to neighboring Shabwa province and beyond.A month later, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is thriving by joining diverse armed groups in taxing fuel delivered illicitly to remote beaches along the Arabian Sea coast, security, tribal and shipping sources say.Home to Yemen's largest industrial project, a now-shut liquefied natural gas export facility at Belhaf, Shabwa is divided among Al-Qaeda, government troops loyal to President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi, Houthi forces and armed tribes.Tribal sources say all sides are benefiting at a time of extreme fuel shortages around the country.Tribal sources say Al-Qaeda militants have agreed not to obstruct the lucrative smuggling trade and instead inserted themselves into the illicit networks.
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