Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two People killed in Yemen's Aden

Two People killed in Aden province
16 suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed in Abyan Province
Unknown armed men attack in Hadhramout Province
Huge explosion in Al-Mukalla Prison
By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, March 18, 2012- At least two people were killed on Sunday night, including a girl, and several others wounded in Yemen's southern port of Aden.
A security official said clashes between Yemeni troops and southern movement fighters took place in Al-Mala district during a bid by Yemeni security forces to open the main road and to remove remnants from the road.

Sources said that Sameh Mohamed Al-Yazeida, and one of his relatives were killed while passing by, along with two others standers-by.
Yemen Interior Ministry stated in its website that two soldiers were injured during the clashes.
The tensions between Yemeni government and Southern Movement fighters have risen in the past two weeks especially after appointing a new governor and a security director for Aden province.
In an interview with the New York Times in Febuary, 2010, separatists claim that more than 100 people have been killed in clashes with the police and security forces since the southern movement began in 2007, with arrested secessionists numbering around 1,500 remaining in prison as of early 2010.
The movement for an independent South Yemen has gained strength since 2007, when protests broke out over the forced early retirement of several army officers from the south. Fears of a renewed civil war are constant, and many Yemenis still remember the bloody 1994 civil war.
Further south, security officials said that at least 16 suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed when missiles fired from the sea slammed into Al-Qaeda positions in the Yemen southern province of Abyan.
The sources said that heavy shelling began overnight targeting the northeastern suburbs of Zinjibar, which jihadists have controlled since May following fierce fighting with government troops. He added that many bases of Al-Qaeda were destroyed and 16 jihadists were killed.
Al-Qaeda militants have exploited the weakening central government in Sana'a to strengthen their presence in the country, especially across the restive south and southeast.
Zinjibar is the capital of Abyan province, a stronghold of the jihadists' local affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, whose militants fight under the banner of Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law).
Moreover, in Yemen southern province of Hadhramout, unknown armed men carried out an attack on government vehicle in Al-Katen district, wounding three people.
The attackers stole the vehicle and ran away. No one, nor any group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
No more details were reported.
Meanwhile, a huge explosion hit Al-Mukalla Central Prison where suspected Al-Qaeda militants escaped from last year.
Witnesses told local news websites saying that black smoke is seen coming from the jail. No more details were reported.
Last year, nearly 60 suspected al-Qaeda militants tunneled their way out of a Yemeni prison in the lawless south, deepening the chaos of a nation where protesters are trying to topple the autocratic regime.
The escape from the Mukalla prison in Hadramout province is the latest sign that Islamic militants are seizing on the mayhem to operate more freely, something the U.S. fears will become an increasing international threat if the impoverished nation grows even more unstable. Hundreds of Islamic militants have also taken control of several southern towns in recent year.

Yemen says more than 2,000 killed in uprising

Sunday, March 18, 2012
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — More than 2,000 people have been killed in a year of political turmoil that led to the resignation of Yemen's longtime president, the government disclosed Sunday. The figure is much higher than human rights groups estimated.
The government released its first casualty figures on a day when crowds of protesters were marking one year since a particularly bloody day, when dozens were killed.
Yemen's Ministry of Human Rights said the figure of at least 2,000 includes both unarmed protesters and military defectors, as well as more than 120 children. It said 22,000 people were wounded over the past year.
The London-based human rights group Amnesty International estimated earlier this year that 200 protesters had been killed in the uprising.
The government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down as president last month after more than three decades in power, never released casualty figures.
For nearly a year, armed men in plain clothes loyal to Saleh attacked anti-government protesters, while security forces did little to stop them.
Yemenis protested across the country on Sunday to mark the killing of more than 50 protesters last year by snipers loyal to the former regime.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in at least 18 provinces to demand that Saleh be tried for the deaths of protesters killed a year ago on "Friday of Dignity," when snipers fired from rooftops at protesters in Sanaa's Change Square.
As part of an internationally backed deal, Saleh was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for handing over powers to his vice president.
Saleh's successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, visited Sanaa's Change Square on Sunday and prayed at a cemetery where protesters were buried. He told youth demonstrators that he would fulfill the goals of their movement and decreed that families who lost relatives in the uprising would be given a monthly stipend.
The internal turmoil has led to a collapse of security in many parts of Yemen.
On Sunday, two gunmen dressed in military uniforms on a motorcycle shot dead an American teacher working at a language institute in the central Yemen city of Taiz, said the region's provincial governor, Hamoud al-Sufi.
Taiz is the second largest city in Yemen and has been a center of anti-government protests.
Al -Sufi did not have details on who the killers might be and said an investigation was in progress.
The head of security in Taiz, Ali Saidi, said the American, identified as Joel Wesley, was killed in his car when the assailants sped up next to him and opened fire. Wesley worked for two years at the Swiss Language Institute, financed by the International Training and Development Center. The center, established in Yemen in the 1970s, is one of the oldest foreign language institutes in the impoverished Arab country.
Further south, security officials said a naval bombardment on Sunday killed more than 16 al-Qaida fighters in Aden's provincial capital of Zinjibar. Militants affiliated with al-Qaida have taken advantage of the chaos in Yemen to seize control of cities and town in that area.
In another attack Sunday, medical officials said an aerial assault killed at least eight militants in Jaar, just north of Zinjibar. Both cities have been under al-Qaida control since last spring. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information.
Residents said a civilian was wounded when an airstrike hit a post office used as a hospital in Jaar. The city's main hospital was destroyed in a government bombardment last year.

Al-Qaida Says it Killed American Language Teacher in Yemen

March 18, 2012
A Yemeni militant group affiliated with al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for a shooting that killed an American teacher in the southern city of Taiz.
Militants riding a motorcycle shot the man in his car on Sunday. Yemeni officials say the American had been working in Taiz as the deputy director of a Swedish-run language institute. Authorities launched an investigation to find the perpetrators of the attack.
A U.S. State Department official told VOA the Obama administration "has seen reports that a U.S. citizen has been killed in Yemen ... and is working diligently to obtain additional information."
Al-Qaida linked group Ansar al-Sharia sent a text message to Yemen-based journalists saying it killed the American because he was a Christian missionary. Islamist militants often accuse Western aid and development groups of proselytizing.
A Swiss woman working as a language teacher in Yemen's western port of Hodeida was abducted last week. The identity of the kidnappers remains unclear.
Al-Qaida's Yemeni affiliate is active in Yemen's center and south, where its fighters seized several towns in Abyan province last year.
A local official told foreign news agencies that missiles fired from the sea struck al-Qaida positions north of Abyan's provincial capital, Zinjibar, beginning Saturday. The official said at least 14 militants were killed. It was not clear if Yemeni or U.S. warships fired the missiles.
Witnesses said Yemeni government warplanes also attacked the al-Qaida-held town of Jaar on Sunday, prompting residents to flee their homes. There were no immediate reports of civilian casualties.
Yemen has been in chaos since last year when anti-government protests forced longtime autocratic ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh to agree to resign as president. His deputy Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi took over as president last month, vowing to fight al-Qaida and stabilize the impoverished nation.

An American teacher Killed in Taiz Province

By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a, March 18, 2012- Two gunmen shot dead an American citizen in Yemen's southern province of Taiz.
The Two men were in a motorcycle fired eight shots at the teacher who was on his way to work at a Swedish language center.
Jaweel Sharm, 32, a vice manger of Swedish language center was killed in Wadi Al-Madhafer district of Taiz province by suspected believed to Al-Qaeda militants.
Two weeks ago Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, threatened an American school in Yemen saying it has become a target of Yemen Al-Qaeda branch.
The American Language Institute AMIDEAST, located in the southern city of Aden, received an anonymous phone call threatening an attack by the terrorist organization unless it complied with the group’s demands.

Statement of the legal and Media Team who visits Hajjah province

Statement of the legal and Media Team
Who visits the districts of Kusher and Mustaba
In Hajjah Governorate
In the period from : 10/3-13/3/2012
Sana'a, March 17, 2012
A number of journalists and legalists directed on Saturday 10/3/2013 to conflicts areas of the districts of Mustaba and Kusher and saw the humanitarian conditions and recorded all things related to the conflicts that caused human and material damages.
The team met for three days with all conflict parties including mediators and social figures and local council members in the governorate and the district, in addition they met with the people who displaced from their homes with recording and documenting to the violations and crimes that committed against the people of those areas and the results were:
First: the mediation committee
We found, during our meeting with the supervision committee on implementing the truce between the conflict parties, that the situation still tense and the fire shooting did not stop until one week before our visit and there were some violations despite the signature of the truce in 27/1/2012. The role of the state is completely absence in its duty in protecting citizens and fixation security and stability. There are no guaranties to implement this truce unless the obligation of the all conflict parties.
Second: Al-Houthis
We met with the leader in al-Houthi group Abu Yahya al-Matari, and we get that Al-Houthis came from Sa'ada to protect the house of al-Madani and they started publish their ideas peacefully and they distributed chants and slogans in mosques, so they got objection from the people of Mustaba who they are not object their coming from outside the province, but they were objected by the people of Kusher district. Al-Matari said that they entered to Kusher as fighters, and it was a self-defense.
The team visited the house of Abu Yousef al-Madani, and found some bullets on a number of walls of the house. Al-Houthis did not speak about how much they got killed from them, while the road of Ahem- Harradh was passing through Mustaba, and it was under their control, and blocked.
Al-Houthis provided for the visitors a number of pictures of handwritten papers that they said they found them in the House of the Qur'an in Ahem, and it includes inciting on them.
Al-Houthis showed their ready to leave the area in case of implementation of all clauses of the treaty, with existing of some objections.
Third: tribes
In the next day, on Monday 12/3/2012, we visit Ahem Souq that gathered by tens of thousands every Monday from different areas of neighboring provinces such as Sa'ada, al-Hodeidah, Hajjah and al-Mahweet, and we found the markets completely empty and closed, and people are in the case-see caution that prevails in the days of war.
As we stood there in the city of Ahem, we saw the crimes committed against the residents and owners of shops and places of worship where houses demolished and other houses was bombed by various heavy weapons and a number of shops and stores of goods were all burned, and the sanctity of ALLAH (GOD) houses and the Center for AL-Quran memorization that contained a special section to orphans care have been also violated.
During the visit, we found the tribes of Hagur saying that al-Houthis invade their tribes from many provinces and have disabled the schools and mosques, and blocked the roads, especially the asphalt main road connecting the Directorate of Mustaba with Kusher district, and it considers a life vessel for Kusher, specifically for Ahem, which forced citizens to search for an alternative route that is more rugged, costly, fatigue and discomfort.
Al-Houthis are unjustly blocking the road of Mustaba and Kusher and imposed a siege on its people who are living very difficult conditions because the lack of access of petroleum products to terminals, as well as their lack of many basic needs and differences in prices that make their life worse.
Citizens who met by the team said that al-Houthis attacked directly on villages with artillery and heavy weapons and engaged with murder, wound, and the displacement of about 15,000 people from the region, where they became displaced in the neighboring districts after the war forced them to leave their homes, and the disruption of their salaries due to the violent war.
The legal and media team received from the media center of Hagur tribes documents that had found in the area of al-Mazra’ah, which was patrolled by al-Houthis, and it included plans of coordinates to hit houses and gathering places in Kusher district by using different mortar, artillery and other heavy and medium weapons.
Those plans and coordinates also included some of the names of different places including the target of the Qur'an House in Ahem area, as al-Houthis called it as the house of fraud and disbelief as well as the American compound in reference to the headquarters of the Yemeni Islah Party in the same area.
The team saw the scream slogan of al-Houthis has been printed in the walls of houses, shops and mosques and on the roadsides in a manner described by Kusher citizens as a provocation, as well as their closing a lot of schools and houses of worship for no other reason but because they refused to sing their slogan as stated by some people who met by the team.
Citizens, in the displaced camp, are demanding the state to intervene and not to stand silent and idly in front of their case and from those who they described them as the occupiers, al-Houthis.
They also called for humanitarian organizations to provide shelter and tents, as it was not distributed enough tents, only a small amount did not meet the minimum of their need for shelter, and they also lack from food, bed and medication, and so far they didn’t receive any assistance from any side.
The team has received from the Media Center of Hagur tribes the latest statistics for damages and human and material losses suffered as a result of the war, and they are as follows:
 94 dead and 154 wounded, and the closure of 9 schools and 20 mosques and the closure of 7 clinics and burning 3000 Quran and the closure of 9 Petroleum stations, and the displacement of nearly 15,000 citizen that equivalent of 5,000 households.
Statistics indicate that 2750 workers lost their jobs and their interests due to Ahem market bombing by mortars and artillery fire by militants of al-Houthi stationed in the mountains and in Ab Modaour area.
Information provided by the Media Center said that al-Houthis murdered the child Ameen Raypan, after his abduction, kidnapping and torture as well as detained a number of people from Kusher Directorate, including Ali Mohamed Qaid Gahouh and mining the dead bodies and the homes of citizens and some government institutions.
• Fourth: the local authorities
On Tuesday 13/ 3/2012, the team visited the leadership of the local authority in the province where they met both the Secretary-General of the province Ameen al-Qudami and Deputy of the province, Sheikh Ismail Al-Mahim, which they noted that al-Houthis came from outside the province to expand, and they came armed in many numbers and aroused the concern of the local authorities and citizens. And they have received a number of communications on practices and attacks by these elements, and prevent people from praying in mosques.
Al-Qudami said that he contacted with the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the current President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi, and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of the North region, but they asked us to do any exit that helping to calm the situation, without providing any other help.
He emphasized that the potential of the local authority, security and military, is less than of al-Houthi potentials, which controls the Directorate of Mustaba and blocked the main roads that leading to the rest of the districts.
Al-Mahim who belongs to the Directorate of Mustaba said that the people of the directorate are under pressure and oppression and they refuse to take their area as a base for al-Houthis who wants to beat Kusher districts, and refuse to cut off the main road passing their district, and to prevent pass through to and from Harradh city.
According to Al-Mahim, any reconciliation did not contain the departure of al-Houthis from the Directorate of Mustaba and the rest of the villages and areas of Hajjah province will not lead to a solution.
He said he appreciates Hagur tribes for prevent al-Houthis expansion in the province, and their defense of their lands which was in defense of the entire province.
• Conclusions:
- We did not find in the area of Abu Dowar, which al-Houthis are based there, any damage or destruction, and they prevented the team to visit any facilities that the citizens say it is affected and controlled by them in Mustaba.
- We noted the presence of three checkpoints to al-Houthi gunmen on the road from Khamis Mustaba to Bani Dowar with the presence of armed children in those points who are used in the confrontations.
- There is a camp in the area Bani Khamj for citizens displaced from Ahem and Kusher regions and said that they were displaced from their homes due to attacks on their areas by al-Houthis who occupied their homes.
We found in our way to Ahem region two camps for displaced people in Wadi al-Aredh valley that is the largest where extending over an area of 2 square kilometers, starts from the station Al-Moballel and ends to school of Ammar bin Yasser in Khairan Directorate coves on the side of the valley, the population has fled from Ahem, al-Qudain, al-hazha and al-Hobwah villages.
- According to witnesses, al-Houthis mined the governmental institutions of a vocational training center and the security center of Ahem region and mining bodies of the dead and a number of houses.
- Ahem market city is empty from the population with the presence of damages in some homes as a result of shelling by al-Houthis.
- The visiting team felt on the urgency of the citizens to depart out the insurgents who came from other provinces to their area, as well as the great displeasure of the State's laggard position.
- The team visited a number of houses and private institutions destroyed by the bombing of al-Houthis on Ahem region, including mosques, schools and educational institutes.
- Al-Houthis refused to allow the team to visit some government institutions they control in the area of Ahem and Mustaba.
- Al-Houthis refused to give any information on the numbers of dead and wounded in their side, and said that there were dead among the two parties and estimated by hundreds.
- The team saw gunmen belong to al-Houthi assault on the citizen Ahmed Ali Abu Ga’ran after raising his voice in front of the visiting team calling for al-Houthis to leave Mustaba territory, where the Houthis beat him with rifle butts.
- Shooting fire from the building of vocational training center in Ahem during the visit of media and legal team for the region, and Houthis has been admitted to their station at the center.
- The Team received a tip on his way back to prevent a member of the supervision committee from the implementation of the last clauses of the treaty from passing the areas they control in Mustaba what forced him to return and spend the night in the areas controlled by tribes.
- The Team received a tip for the death of citizen, and others injured in a landmine explosion planted by Houthis in the home of the dead citizen who returned to inspect his home at Ahem market.
- Citizens living in areas of the Directorate of Ahem in difficult situations due to the blockade imposed on them by al-Houthi militants who control the corridors leading to the Directorate.
- The citizens forced to pass the dirt and rugged road to reach to Ahem area and the transfer of basic necessities of the city, causing a rise in commodity prices in general rates ranging between 30 to 60% and rising prices of water tankers that being moved from the valleys up the distance to the double times the distance of the original valleys.
- Citizens informed the team that officials of the local authority in Mustaba region involved with Houthis and delivered them the Directorate easily.
• Finally, the recommendations:
- The team recommends al-Houthi group to lift the points and the siege imposed on the people of Ahem region and opening roads and allowing citizens to pass and not intercepted or detained or abducted, and not to use children in armed conflicts and wars.
- The team recommends al-Houthi group to evacuate the government facilities completely, and disarm mines planted in the region.
- The team recommends the two parties to work on the implementation of the truce signed on 27/1 /2 012 and lift barracks and to return life to normal.
- The team recommends visiting local and international organizations working in the humanitarian field to pay attention to the tragic situation of displaced people in camps.
- The team recommends visiting President of the Republic and the Government of National Unity and the local authority and the military committee to extend the influence of the state and protect the citizens, and stop the bloodshed in the districts of Mustaba and Kusher and dismantling of roads and work on extraction of mines and the return of displaced people to their homes.
- The media and legal team calls for attorney general to investigate the crimes committed against innocent citizens.
- The team recommends visiting various media means to show the humanitarian situation in areas of Hogur and give it more attention.
Issued by the media and legal team
Who visited the regions of Mustaba and Kusher