Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gulf Arab meeting ends without Yemen transition deal



RIYADH - A meeting of Gulf Arab powers aimed at salvaging a deal to ease Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power broke up on Sunday with no agreement in place over a political transition.

"The council expresses its hope of removing all the obstacles that still block a final agreement, and its Secretary General will head to Sanaa for that purpose," a statement issued by ministers of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council said.

Four Soldiers Killed and Four Wounded in Hadramout Province

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Sana'a, May 1, 2011- At least four soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in Southern province of Hadramout.

Private sources said that the attack took place in the city of Saeon when suspected Al-Qaeda militants attacked a governmental patrol vehicle was guarding the telecom headquarters at the enterance of southern city.

Earlier this day, suspected Al-Qaeda militants attacked a new governorate headquarter in Yemen's southern province of Abyan on Sunday, killing three soldiers and injuring five others.

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.

Yemen unrest: Deal postponed as Saleh refuses to sign

Sana'a, May 1, 2011- A deal to end the unrest in Yemen has collapsed after the veteran leader President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign the agreement, officials say.

The deal, brokered by Gulf Arab states, had been due to be signed in person by the president over the weekend.

The opposition said it would consider escalating the protests calling on Mr Saleh to stand down.

Under the deal, Mr Saleh would have 30 days to gain immunity from prosecution before stepping down.

The deal was agreed a week ago by Yemen's ruling party, the General People's Congress.

But an official from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which mediated the agreement, said Mr Saleh had refused to sign it.

The Yemeni leader is said to have asked a senior aide to represent him at the signing ceremony in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

A senior opposition leader said they were considering escalating pressure on the president to step aside after three months of street protests which have left at least 145 people dead.

"We are studying the options of escalations and waiting for a US-European stance on Saleh's refusal to sign," the representative said, Reuters reports.

The US is keen to resolve the unrest in Yemen, where al-Qaeda has a well-established network.

The opposition coalition approved the deal earlier only after its leaders had received "assurances" from the GCC, the US and Europe on the transfer of power.

However, the deal drove a wedge between the opposition coalition and youths who have led demonstrations against the president across the country for months.

They accuse the politicians of breaking a promise to put Mr Saleh on trial.


Three soldiers killed by militants in south Yemen

ADEN, Yemen, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Suspected al-Qaida gunmen attacked a new governorate headquarter in Yemen's southern province of Abyan on Sunday, killing three soldiers and injuring five others, a local security official said.

The militants launched an armed attack targeting the new headquarter of Abyan province at the western entrance of Zunjbar district and fired a hail of bullets on the building, killing three soldiers and injuring five others, who were guarding the building, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The attack was carried out from the a bridge in Dahl Ahmed village, he said.

The injured soldiers were taken to a hospital in Abyan, two of them in critical condition, the official added.

Local residents told Xinhua that armed groups of al-Qaida set a number of checkpoints at the western entrance of Zunjbar district and carried out many attacks in the past two weeks on the army patrols, killing and injuring many soldiers.

Yemen opposition: Saleh refuses to sign transition deal

SANAA, April 30 (Reuters) - Yemen's main opposition group on Saturday accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh of thwarting a Gulf-brokered deal that would see him cede power within a month.

"The authority has thwarted the deal. The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council told us that Saleh refused to sign in his role as president. He said he wanted to sign as head of the ruling party, and this is a violation of the text of the Gulf initiative," the official, Sultan al-Atwani, told Reuters.