Saturday, July 30, 2011

Al-Qaeda senior leader arrested in Yemen

ABYAN, July 30 (Saba) - A security source said Saturday that senior leader of al-Qaeda "Abdullah Saeed Omar Houbaibat" was captured in Abyan province.

Houbaibat was arrested at a checkpoint on Friday and was sent to the competent authorities to complete the legal procedures against him, the source said.

He is one of most wanted members of al-Qaeda and has participated in many terrorist operations targeted checkpoints, military and security individuals as well as civilians in Abyan, he added.

Moreover, the armed forces managed Saturday to arrest three armed members of al-Qaeda and kill another one near Zinjibar city, the source said.

More than 40 dead in south Yemen violence

July 30, 2011

More than 40 dead in south Yemen violence Aden: At least 42 people have died in violence near Yemen's southern city of Zinjibar, most of which has fallen under the control of suspected al Qaeda militants, military and local sources said on Saturday.

Eleven people including top officers were killed in fierce clashes between the army and militants in Dofas, a village 15 kilometres south of Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar, they said.

"Al Qaeda elements stationed in Dofas attacked army units there using machine-guns on Friday, killing two officers and four soldiers, and wounding nine others," said a military official in the village.

Medics at a military hospital in the southern port city of Aden confirmed the casualty toll.

A local official in Dofas said five members of the Islamist network were also killed and four wounded in the attack.

Also yesterday, an air raid and clashes with militants left 29 tribesmen killed and dozens wounded in eastern Zinjibar, tribal sources said, adding that several others went missing.

Twelve of the tribesmen were killed and 20 others wounded in clashes with the militants, a top security official in the area said.

Yemen's opposition tribes up the ante against Saleh

Jul 30, 2011

Cairo/Sana'a- Yemeni tribes opposed to the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, vowed Saturday to protect anti-government protesters.

'Any aggression on the supporters of the revolution will be an aggression on Yemen's tribes,' they said in a statement at a ceremony in Sana'a to launch an anti-Saleh alliance.

'Saleh will not be allowed to rule again. Neither he nor his sons will rule as long as we are alive,' Sadiq al-Ahmar, head of the Hashid tribe, told the gathering.

Weeks of fighting between government security forces and al-Ahmar's loyalists broke out in Sana'a in May, after Saleh refused to sign a power transfer deal.

Saleh has been staying in Saudi Arabia receiving medical treatment after being injured in an attack on the presidential palace in early June.

Since February, millions of Yemenis have taken part in protests demanding Saleh's ouster.

Meanwhile, six army personnel and seven insurgents suspected of having links with al-Qaeda were killed in overnight clashes in southern Yemen, reported the broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

It quoted tribal sources as saying that the clashes took place near Zinjibar, the capital of the southern province of Abyan, when insurgents attacked army units.

Airstrikes kill 14 pro-government Yemeni tribesmen

Associated Press
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Government airstrikes in southern Yemen targeting al-Qaida-linked militants accidentally killed 14 pro-government tribesmen, a Yemeni security official said Saturday.
The botched airstrikes reflect the deteriorating security situation that has spread across this impoverished, heavily armed country since the popular uprising against longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh began six months ago.
Armed tribesmen are battling government forces in a number of areas around the country, and Islamist militants, some linked to al-Qaida, have overrun entire towns in the country's restive south.
The U.S. and other nations worry that al-Qaida and other groups could exploit the chaos in Yemen to step up operations.
The airstrikes hit just east of the town of Zinjibar, near Yemen's south coast, which Islamist militants overran earlier this year. Since then, government forces and armed tribesmen have been battling to push them out, causing regular casualties on both sides.
Security official Abdullah al-Jadana said Saturday that men from the Fadl tribe advanced on Zinjibar, killing two militants and occupying a government communications building before at least three airstrikes hit the area late Friday, he said. Fourteen tribesmen were killed in the strike.
A military official confirmed the airstrikes and said preliminary information indicated a mistake had been made. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military rules.
Tribal loyalties are paramount in Yemen's provinces, where the central government exerts little control, and an errant airstrike could sap local support crucial to government forces.
Just north of the capital Sanaa, two days of clashes with the army left 17 anti-government tribesmen dead - prompting their powerful tribe to threaten attacks against Sanaa's international airport.
Anti-government tribes in the mountainous Arhab region north of the airport have been battling Yemen's army for months. The tribes, which have long complained of neglect, say the elite Republican Guard is shelling and bombing their villages, killing civilians.
The tribe has previously attacked local army bases and tried to prevent troops from entering the capital, Sanaa, where it feared they would attack protesters.
Sheik Hamid Assem said Saturday that two days of fighting had killed 17 tribesman and dozens of soldiers.
Yemen's Defense Ministry said in a statement that soldiers had been killed, but did not provide a number.
Late Friday, the Arhab tribe issued a statement warning it could strike the airport.
"The sons of the Arhab tribe will strike the Sanaa International Airport with all the available means of war in response to the attacks on them by air and the shelling of their villages and homes," it said.
While the tribe likely cannot down an airliner, it could fire heavy weapons on the airport from mountains it controls nearby. It warned airlines not to use the airport "so that nothing bad happens to them."