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IS releases propaganda video targeting al-Qaeda in Yemen

IS is known for its high production propaganda videos [Twitter]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2015

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Blog: The Islamic State group's latest video attacks al-Qaeda's franchise in Yemen, as their rivals unleash a deadly attack on an army position in the south of the country.

The Islamic State group released a video this week, attacking its extremist rival, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The video conincided with a major assault by al-Qaeda militants on Yemeni units in Hadramaut province on Friday.

IS has accused its rival of working with militia units allied to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi - who are fighting alongside the country's army against Houthi rebels.

The video, titled Oh, al-Qaeda in Yemen, where are you going? slammed the group's decision to hand over control of military bases and the Mukalla port to the so-called popular committees, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service.

IS called on al-Qaeda to wage war against Hadi loyalists, the Saudi-led coalition and Popular Resistance forces.

The group also invited the group's leader, Qasim al-Rimi, to swear allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

     
      Al-Qaeda has control of the port city of Mukalla [Getty]
Al-Qaeda has controlled the southern Hadramaut city of Mukalla and surrounding areas since early this year.

The video also mocked al-Qaeda for being led by someone killed two years ago, referring to the elusive former Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and criticised al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for a message he released in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi.

IS has claimed responsibility for suicide attacks against the Hadi government and the Saudi-led coalition, as well as assassinating several Popular Resistance leaders over the past few months.

Earlier this month, al-Qaeda released a video statement that said the Islamic "caliphate" declared by IS was illegitimate, and dismissively referred to the organisation as "Baghdadi's group".

On Friday, al-Qaeda launched attacks on two army positions in southeast Yemen, leaving 15 soldiers and 19 militants dead as well as several civilians wounded.

Following the Saudi-led military intervention against Houthi advances in northern and southern Yemen and the collapse of central authority, al-Qaeda seized control of the port city of Mukalla in April.

Al-Qaeda's presence has also increased in southern capital Aden since the recapture of the city from the Houthis during the summer, with the group seizing checkpoints and its flag seen in various neighbourhoods of the city.

The group has imposed a strict version of Islamic law in areas of Yemen under its control.

The group has executed or lashed those it accused of "crimes" including homosexuality and sorcery. Those accused of theft have their hands cut off.

The US considers al-Qaeda in Yemen to be the most dangerous affiliate of the militant network and targets its leaders with drone strikes.

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