Four suspected Al-Qaeda militants, one an Iraqi, have been killed in an ambush by tribal fighters allied to the military in south Yemen's Abyan province,
AFP , Sunday 27 Nov 2011
The four were hit with rockets and artillery on Saturday "in a car belonging to Al-Qaeda" on the road from provincial capital Zinjibar to Jaar, two towns held by insurgents linked to the extremist group, a tribal source told AFP.
"The vehicle was burned to a cinder and the four people inside, including an Iraqi, were killed," added the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Also in Abyan province -- a bastion of Al-Qaeda-linked fighters -- witnesses reported that Zinjibar resident Saleh Bashrima, 35, who was accused of rape, had his right hand amputated in public on Saturday "by Al-Qaeda members."
Since May, the militants have taken control of several towns in Abyan as 10 straight months of protests against veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime have weakened central government control.
The militants from the group Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) have in recent weeks enforced their own very strict interpretation of Islamic justice. On November 12, they handed out 80 lashes each to five youths they said had taken narcotic pills.
In September, the militants severed the hand of a 15-year-old as punishment for stealing electrical cables. He later died from blood loss. Despite months of clashes, government troops have so far been unable to take back full control of Abyan's towns and cities.