Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three Al-Qaeda Militants Killed in Mareb, and Two Arrested in Taiz

By Fatik Al-Rodiani

Sana'a, Mar 17, 2011- Yemeni authorities arrested two suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's southern province of Taiz in their way to participate in a protest demanding the fall of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime.

Khaled Saed Ba Materf, a senior leader of Al-Qaeda militants in Al-Qaeda the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, in Abyan province was arrested at a security checkpoint in Taiz on Tuesday along side with another Al-Qaeda militant. No more details were reported.

On the other hand, three suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed at a security checkpoint in Yemen's eastern province of Mareb after an exchange of gun fire between security forces and suspected Al-Qaeda in which two soldiers were killed and others wounded.

Two days ago, one soldier was killed and three others wounded in an ambush, believed to be by suspected Al-Qaeda militants, in Yemen's southern province of Abyan.

Eyewitnesses said that Al-Qaeda militants attacked on Sunday a patrol vehicle in Zenjabar.

A week ago, Two days ago four soldiers were killed in an attack by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's southern province of Hadramout.

Analysts said that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, has increased its attacks against Yemen's forces since the rise of protests demanding President Saleh to step down.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has a strong presence in southern Yemen as a series of terrorist attacks against security and army forces took place in the country's southern and eastern provinces since 2009.

A recent statistic by the Interior Ministry late last year showed that a total of 178 security force members were killed in 2010, mostly in combats against Al-Qaeda militants, and another 852 were injured.

The ministry last December said it planned to establish four counter-terrorism units in different provinces, including Hadramout, to curb the activities of resurgent Al-Qaeda wing.

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