Monday, August 8, 2011

Three al-Qaeda militants killed in south Yemen

Aug 8, 2011

Sana'a - At least three al-Qaeda militants were killed and an unknown number wounded in military raids Monday in Yemen's southern Abyan governorate, a Yemeni security official reported.

Yemeni army personnel supported by military planes targeted Islamist positions, pressuring al-Qaeda forces to retreat, the source said.

Since March, Abyan capital Zinjibar has been under the control of al-Qaeda forces after a group calling themselves 'al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula' declared the city an 'Islamic emirate.'

The group, which has reportedly taken advantage of anti-government protests gripping the country since February, has been carrying out terrorist attacks in the governorate.

The country's political opposition, which is demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh leave office after 32 years in power, accuses him of handing over the province to militants in an attempt to scare Western countries into supporting his bid to remain in power.

Yemen still investigating Saleh attack

SANAA, Yemen, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Yemeni authorities said they were still investigating the June 3 attack that put the country's president in the hospital for more than two months.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar were released from a military hospital in Saudi Arabia last weekend. Both were gravely injured in a June 3 attack on a mosque at the presidential palace in Sanaa.

Authorities in Yemen said they were still investigating the attack, the officials Saba news agency reports.

An editorial in Saba last month said members of the opposition movement in Yemen were collaborating with al-Qaida to overthrow the government, saying there were similarities between the attack and the October 2000 attack by al-Qaida against the USS Cole in the Gulf of Aden.

Saleh has clung to power for much of the year. Despite international pressure to do so, he's refused to sign a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council to resign.

Opposition groups have been calling for an interim council created to prevent his return. Saleh has ruled Yemen since 1978.

A return date to Yemen by either leader wasn't announced.