Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fresh sabotage attack on power supply lines in Yemen

April 12, 2012
Yemeni government said on Thursday that a new sabotage attack took place targeting the supply power lines providing the Yemeni capital of Sana'a with electricity in Jaadan area in Marib province, where the main gas-operated power station is based.
"The first circuit of the electrical transmission lines Marib-Sana'a was subjected to a fresh sabotage attack today around in Marib," reported the official Saba news agency citing a high-ranking official in the General Electricity Corporation.
The saboteurs threw the lines with an iron chain connecting the power isolated lines, and thus forcing Marib Power Station to be out of service with all its capacity, the unnamed official explained.
Meanwhile, the power was blacked out again in Sana'a with residents complaining about the bad management of the power lines, which are subjected frequently to attacks since the outbreak of protests against ex President Ali Abdullah Saleh long rule, by the concerned authorities.
Ahmed Ali Al-Badoui told Yemen Post, "we hold the authorities responsible for the repeated attacks on power towers and lines as they are responsible for protecting them from any saboteurs."
"Since last year, we have heard of hundreds of attacks on the vital service transmission lines, but we did not hear, even for once, about the saboteurs being arrested and be severely punished for their crimes," he continued.
Last month, the electricity minister Saleh Sameih directly accused Saleh of being behind the attacks and demanded Saleh and other powerful figures pay the owed power bills.
Source: Yemen Post

21 people committed suicide in March

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 12, 2012- Yemen's Interior Ministry said on Thursday that approximately 21 people, including 4 women and 2 children, committed suicide last month.
In statistics conducted by the ministry said that the average of age of people, who committed suicide, is estimated between 12 and 70.
According to the ministry at least 11 people of the deaths hang themselves using cables and cloth, while the rest of the deaths used guns or poison. One of the deaths set fire on himself and another slain himself using knife.
9 Yemeni provinces registered 21 people committed suicide with 6 cases in Al-Hodeida province, 4 in Taiz, 3 in Sana'a, 2 in Mareb, and the rest of the figure was in other provinces.
Analysts say that most people commit suicide as a result of the poverty and unemployment in Yemen that faces sever hunger.
Last year Yemen's Interior Ministry registered approximately 235 people committed suicide, including 24 children in a decline of 19.6 percent when comparing with 2010 when 292 committed suicide.

Yemen's ex-president insists on role for loyalists

By AHMED AL-HAJ - Associated Press
April 12, 2012
SANAA, Yemen -- Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Thursday his loyalists should maintain leading roles in running the country's affairs to ensure stability, in a clear warning against attempts by his successor to purge them.
The opposition has accused Saleh, who stepped down in February as part of a power transfer deal negotiated by Gulf countries and backed by the U.S., of trying undermine his successor, former Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in a bid to return to office.
"Yemen will not see stability without an effective role for the leadership and the bases of the General People's Congress party," Saleh said in a statement, referring to his ruling party.
Saleh was the fourth Arab leader to step aside in the wave of revolts that have swept across the Mideast over the past year. After months of mass protests demanding his ouster. But the Gulf-brokered deal that ushered Saleh out of office allowed him to stay on as the head of his party and keep half of the Cabinet ministers in place. It also did not stipulate that the former president must leave the country, and Saleh said he would use his presence to continue to lead the ruling party, to which Hadi also belongs.
"We have always said if this man remains in the country, it will be a big problem," said Mohammed al-Sabri, an opposition spokesman. "The other problem is the international mediators who pressed the opposition to offer him immunity. They have a moral responsibility."
The agreement granted Saleh immunity from prosecution for the killing of protesters in exchange for leaving office.
In his more than 30 years in power, Saleh stacked key security and government posts with relatives and cronies, and one of Hadi's biggest challenges is weeding them out as part of urgently needed reforms.
Hadi has moved in that direction, and last week sacked several generals and other former regime figures as part of reforms in the country's security services. In response, outraged Saleh loyalists seized the capital's main airport, disrupting flights for a day.
Among those fired were Saleh's half brother, air force commander Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, and his nephew, Tariq, who headed the presidential guard. Both so far have refused to step aside.
The restructuring didn't touch the ex-president's son Ahmed, who has retained kept command of the well-equipped and powerful Republican Guard, or Saleh's nephew, Yahia, the head of the Central Security Forces. The show of force appeared to be an attempt to intimidate Hadi and dissuade him from trying to implement more sweeping reforms that would remove them and other family members.

8 Al-Qaeda militants killed in Abyan province

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 12, 2012- At least 8 al-Qaeda militants were killed on Thursday in air strikes conducted by the Yemeni forces in Yemen's southern province of Abyan where swaths of towns are controlled by the militant group, Ansar al-Sharia.
Sources said that at least six fighters were killed in an air strike near the southern town of Lawdar, while another strike hit an army tank that had been captured by the militants on Monday, killing everyone inside it.
Residents and officials reported that two other air strikes were on posts held by militants there. Two others militants were killed in continued clashes for the fourth day between Yemeni government soldiers backed by tribesmen and militants.
The clashes took place in Abyan province, where dozens of people have been killed since Monday, raising the death toll from four days of clashes to at least 177.
Yemen's Defense Ministry website stated on Wednesday that two al-Qaeda senior members were killed during the clashes. "Dardish Ahmed Mohammed Taher and Imad al-Manshaby, a field leader, and ten other elements were killed,'' the website said.
The ministry clamed on its website that it had destroyed a number of checkpoints set up by militants on a main road linking Lawdar to the neighboring province of Al-Bayda, re-opening the route.
On Wednesday at dawn, in the town of Rada in Bayda province, militants beheaded a woman on allegations that she practiced witchcraft. The head of the 35-year old woman was later found hanging on a wall of a cemetery in the city as a warning but her body remains missing. On Tuesday at least eight soldiers were killed and four others wounded during an attack at an army checkpoint by armed men believed to be al-Qaeda militants in Yemen’s eastern province of Mareb.
According to analysts, al-Qaeda in Yemen is considered a serious and growing threat for Yemeni government and for the United States.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to fight al Qaeda and its affiliates when he took office earlier this year after his predecessor quit under pressure from anti-government protesters and foreign powers anxious to halt a slide into mayhem.
Militants have since stepped up their operations against the army, carrying out a string of deadly attacks that have cast a long shadow over the country's first month's post-Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In return, the Yemeni air force has launched air strikes on suspected militant strongholds and the United States has joined in with drones.
The United States and Saudi Arabia - both targets of al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing - fear Yemen is becoming a major front in its campaign against the militant network, which has been dealt a number of blows over the past year, not least the killing of its founder and leader Osama bin Laden. 

Yemen's Cabinet forms committee for national dialogue

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 12, 2012- Yemen's Cabinet approved on Thursday the formation of  a ministerial committee, headed by Hooria Mashour, the Human Right Minister to prepare for the comprehensive national dialogue as provisioned by the Gulf initiative.
The cabinet urged the committee to begin holding preliminary talks with the youths in the change and freedom squares to pave the way for the national dialogue.
The national dialogue would discuss all issues in the national arena transparently aiming at the national reconciliation. It also stressed that no political party would be excluded.