'Westerner' among 7 ISIS suspects arrested in Yemen: Police

Yemenis gather at the site of a grenade explosion in Sana'a University in Sana'a, Yemen, on May 24, 2016.
Yemenis gather at the site of a grenade explosion in Sana'a University in Sana'a, Yemen, on May 24, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

ADEN (AFP) - Yemeni authorities on Saturday (May 28) arrested seven Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group suspects, including one "Westerner", in second city Aden, a police officer told AFP.

The arrests are part of a government offensive against ISIS and Al-Qaeda, which have claimed a wave of deadly attacks in recent months in Yemen's south and southeast.

Among these were twin bombings claimed by IS that hit loyalist forces in Aden on Monday, killing at least 41 people.

"We arrested seven Daesh (ISIS) members, among them a Western Muslim, in Mansura" district of Aden, said officer Munir al-Yafie, who took part in the raid, without giving further details.

ISIS and Al-Qaeda have exploited the power vacuum created by more than a year of conflict between pro-government forces and Iran-backed rebels to expand their zones of control in Yemen.

Government forces drove the rebels out of the port city of Aden and other southern provinces since July with support from the Saudi-led coalition which launched its operations in Yemen in March 2015.

But authorities have struggled to secure Aden, where Sunni militants emerged after the rebels left the city.

Aden is serving as the temporary government headquarters as the Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies control capital Sanaa.