Thursday, November 10, 2011

Four killed in south Yemen attacks

November 10, 2011

ADEN: Two dissident soldiers and two policemen were killed overnight in separate attacks in the country's restive south, army and security officials said on Thursday.

"A landmine planted by Al-Qaeda militants exploded Wednesday overnight killing two soldiers from the 119th Brigade commanded by dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar," an army official told AFP.

The general leads the First Armoured Brigade protecting anti-regime protesters in Sanaa.

The attack took place in the southern city of Zinjibar in Abyan province, where dissident troops alongside pro-government forces are battling extremists.

Hundreds of militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) group are in Abyan since they overran the provincial capital Zinjibar and adjacent towns in May.

Separately, gunmen shot dead two policemen in the southern port city of Mukala, in Hadramawt province.

"Unknown gunmen opened fire late on Wednesday killing two policemen and wounding another before fleeing," a security official said.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken advantage of 11 months of deadly protests against Yemen's veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bolster its presence not only in Abyan, but also in nearby Marib and Shebwa provinces.

UN envoy back in Yemen to tackle crisis

SANAA, Nov 10, 2011 (AFP) - The UN envoy to Yemen returned to Sanaa on Thursday to revive efforts aimed at resolving the political turmoil rocking the impoverished country for nearly a year, state news agency Saba reported.

"UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar arrived on Thursday in Sanaa, where he will meet several government and opposition figures to discuss recent developments and the best means for resolving the current crisis," Saba said.

Benomar, who left Sanaa on October 3 after his two-week-long visit failed to persuade Yemen's rivals to agree on a power transfer mechanism, told Saba: "This visit is aimed at following political efforts to help Yemen exit its current crisis."

"I hope it will be a chance to resolve outstanding issues between political counterparts in Yemen," he said.

Al-Houthi Expansion Plan in Yemen Revealed

Sana'a, November 10, 2011, Several sources in Hajjah, a northern Yemeni governorate which sits directly on the northern Saudi borders, told the press that al-Houthis fighters, a Shia led rebellion, were increasingly expanding their area of control in the region as they had already overtaken several towns and villages in the province. They warned that despite a fierce resistance from the tribes of Kashir and Aahm, al-Houthis still managed to break through, overwhelming the tribal army in numbers and weapons.

Until recently, tribes in Hajjah were benefited greatly from the government' support as they were seen as a buffer against al-Houthis' territorial ambitions, especially since Hajjah offers not only an access to the sea but also the capital, Sana'a.

However since President Saleh has had to bear the blunt of a popular uprising, concentrating his efforts on regaining control over the state institutions by taming the political factions which rose against him, al-Houthis has used to his advantage the regime's weaknesses, pushing through his expansion plans.

Several high ranking officials amongst whom many sheikhs are now worry that al-Houthis are planning a direct attack on Sana'a as the Shia fighters are said to be desperately trying to secure access to the governorate's seaport of Midi.

They are warning that if the seaport was to fell into al-Houthis' hands, the rebels would be able to ferry weapons and equipment from abroad, granting an incredible advantage and the potential means of carrying a wider attack on Yemen territories.

Furthermore, over the past few weeks, the Shia rebels have managed to take control over Kahlah al Sharaf district, which is believed to be further proof that al-Houthis are trying to create a direct link in between Sana'a and the Red Sea, in preparation of an attempted take -over.

If Hajjah was to be lost, it would the third Yemeni provinces to have gone under control of al-Houthis led rebellion on a few months, increasing exponentially the risk of the country sinking into utter chaos and Mayhem.

Sources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have said under cover of anonymity that they were watching the events with utmost interest since most of their southern borders ran through al-Houthis' controlled territories and that the group has be known in the past for attacking Saudi villages which they claim ownership over.

Source: Yemen Post