Yemeni forces backed by Apache helicopters from a Saudi-led coalition wrested the city of Houta from al Qaeda fighters after a gun battle on Friday morning, a local military official said.

Hours later, a car bomb detonated outside the foreign ministry in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, causing no casualties, another local official said. Islamic State claimed responsibility in a posting on its al-Amaq news agency website.

The recapture of Houta, regional capital of southern Lahj province which has been held by the militants since last summer, is one of the embattled Yemeni government’s most important inroads yet against al Qaeda forces who have taken advantage of more than a year of war to seize territory. […]