Thursday, October 6, 2011

2 children killed from explosives in Yemen


The Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen — Two children were killed in southern Yemen Thursday when they set off a rocket-propelled grenade as they tried to extract metal from it to sell, residents and medical officials said.

The children, aged 9 and 13, died in the city of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan where government forces have been battling al-Qaida militants for control for the past five months.

Resident Mohammed Hamel said the children were trying to extract iron from the grenade to sell, a common practice among impoverished residents in southern Yemen. The medical officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Elsewhere in Yemen, officials said an oil pipeline in Marib province was attacked for the sixth time this year. The attack took place 100 miles east of the capital Sanaa. It was not clear who was behind it, but officials have blamed past pipeline attacks on disgruntled tribesmen calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster.

The attack came on another day of massive street protests across the country demanding that Saleh, who has ruled for 33 years, step down. Yemeni security forces loyal to the president opened fire on thousands of protesters in the southern city of Taiz, wounding eight, according to medics and activists.

Blast hits Yemen's main oil pipeline

06 October 2011 | FOCUS News Agency

Sanaa. Yemen's main oil export pipeline was blown up on Thursday in the Wadi Obeida region, east of Sanaa, a local tribal chief told AFP, ruling out an attack by Al-Qaeda.

"The pipeline was sabotaged at around 5 pm (1400 GMT) and the explosion holed the line and sparked a fire," said Sheikh Mohsen Mabkut bin Mayili, a tribal head in Marib province.

He said the attack was probably the work of tribesmen seeking concessions from the government, not Al-Qaeda. It was the sixth act of sabotage this year on the pipeline to Ras Issa terminal on the Red Sea, he said.

Some 125,000 barrels a day normally flow through the line, accounting for the bulk of Yemen's oil exports.

YEMEN: Al Qaeda group remains threat to U.S.

October 6, 2011

REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON -- Despite the drone-launched missile strike that killed Anwar Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen remains a significant terrorism threat to the United States, according to Obama administration officials.

“Awlaki's death last week is a major blow” to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, Matthew Olsen, head of the National Counterterrorism Center, which coordinates terrorism information across the government, told a House intelligence committee hearing Thursday.

“But it does not end the threat from AQAP,” he added. “We remain concerned about the group's intent to attack Western targets as well as its propaganda efforts designed to inspire like-minded Western extremists.”

The Al Qaeda franchise’s role in several high-profile plots, including the failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009, and another attempt to blow up cargo planes headed to U.S. cities in October 2010, “demonstrate that AQAP is a determined enemy and that it is capable of adjusting its tactics to achieve its goals,” Olsen said.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said AQAP “has proven its capability to direct attacks into the United States. And a strike against its leadership -- even a significant one -- does not eliminate the potential for retaliation or other action” by the group.

In response to a question, Mueller said Awlaki’s death does not lower U.S. concerns about signs of cooperation between AQAP and al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-linked group battling for control of Somalia.