Thursday, June 16, 2011

Militants Launch More Attacks in Southern Yemen

June 16, 2011- VOA News

Armed militants have attacked government buildings near the southern Yemeni town of Houta, which they assaulted on Wednesday.

Residents told Reuters news agency the attackers in the Thursday assault briefly took over a security forces administrative building and council offices before retreating.

On Wednesday, the al-Qaida-linked group Ansar al-Sharia, or Supporters of Sharia (Islamic law), attacked Houta before dawn, briefly seizing key areas of the provincial capital and battling with government security forces.

The assaults have raised concerns about increased violence from Islamist groups in Yemen's restive south amid nationwide anti-government protests and the absence of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Meanwhile, the French news agency (AFP) reports Yemeni authorities have arrested 10 al-Qaida suspects in the main southern city of Aden.

Militants seized two other southern cities in May, including Zinjibar. Continued fighting there has forced hundreds of civilians to flee to Aden.

President Saleh is recuperating in Saudi Arabia from injuries sustained in a bomb attack on his presidential compound earlier this month. Yemen's state-run news agency says the president told Saudi government officials by telephone Wednesday that his health was improving.

Anti-government demonstrators in Yemen want Saleh to step down. Protesters have been calling for a transitional council that excludes members of the current government.

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