Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gunmen hurl hand grenade at Yemen Information Minister's house

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 13, 2012- Unknown gunmen hurled on Saturday evening a hand grenade at the house of Yemen's Information Minister in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, wounding one person when they opened fire as they fled the scene.
"Two men on a motorcycle hurled the grenade at house of Yemen's Information Minister, Ali al-Amrani, wounding one of the minister's neighbors," the minister's office reported.
Al-Amrani survived an apparent assassination attempt by gunmen last January.
Yesterday's attack underscored the fragile security situation in the country, where President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, urged on by the United States, is trying to crush militants linked to al-Qaeda in the south.

30 al-Qaida militants killed in fighting in Yemen

May 13, 2012
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Government troops backed by warplanes and heavy artillery pounded al-Qaida positions in southern Yemen on Sunday, killing at least 30 militants, officials said.
The army launched its assault on the al-Hurur region of Abyan province at dawn Sunday, pushing out al-Qaida-linked fighters who have controlled the area since taking it over last year. Abdullah Ahmed, who lives in the area, said the militants fled by foot after government soldiers destroyed nearly a dozen tanks and vehicles mounted with rocket launchers seized by the militants last year and kept in al-Hurur.
The attack was part of the Yemeni military's broader campaign against al-Qaida-linked fighters. The militants have seized towns and territory across southern Yemen over the past year, taking advantage of a security vacuum linked to the country's political turmoil that pushed longtime authoritarian leader Ali Abdullah Saleh from power.
Saleh's successor and former deputy, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, took office in February in a U.S.-backed power transfer deal. He has since ramped up the fight against al-Qaida's branch in Yemen, which the U.S. says is one of the group's most active.
The White House's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, met with Hadi on Sunday in the capital, Sanaa. Hadi's office said in a statement that the Yemeni leader briefed Brennan on the army's progress against al-Qaida in the south.
Brennan, who also met with the head of Yemen's military, reiterated Washington's strong commitment to Hadi's efforts to stabilize the country, and said the Yemeni leader is making "historical decisions during these critical times in modern day Yemen," according to a statement released by the Yemeni Embassy in Washington.
Driving the militants out of the area of al-Hurur positions the army just outside the city of Jaar, where al-Qaida has held sway since March 2011. If the military can reclaim Jaar, it will have surrounded the provincial capital of Zinjibar, which also is currently under the control of al-Qaida.
The military has claimed control in recent weeks of some of the outlying areas of Zinjibar, but militants remain firmly entrenched in the heart of the city.
The army also battled militants Sunday around Zinjibar and in the town of al-Code in fighting that left at least 12 government troops dead, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.
The U.S. is particularly concerned about the activities of al-Qaida's Yemeni branch, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Yemen was the launching pad for two foiled al-Qaida attacks on U.S. territory: the Christmas 2009 attempt to down an American airliner over Detroit with an underwear bomb and the sending of printer cartridges packed with explosives to Chicago-area synagogues in 2010.
Last week, The Associated Press disclosed that the CIA thwarted yet another plot by AQAP to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb which could have been undetectable by conventional airport scanners.
AQAP released a guide for would-be fighters written by U.S. national Samir Khan before his death in an American missile strike last year that also killed American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida cleric.
The 16-page English-language guide, reported by SITE Intelligence Group on Sunday, advised potential fighters about how to remain physically and psychologically healthy during long operations, noting the "recent opening of Abyan" and saying the group is in a "state of expansion" there.
"It is not about just rushing to the enemy bases and attempting to take them over, but it is about what to do in the long run and how to build upon that," the guide says.

Omani Embassy in Sana'a closes over terrorist threats

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 13, 2012- Omani Embassy in Sana'a shut its mission and withdrew its staff from Sana'a over terrorist threats.
According to diplomat and security officials in Sana'a Omani Embassy was closed on Saturday and diplomats in Sana'a left Yemen after receiving terrorist threats.
The sources did not specify the nature of these threats but they said that "most diplomatic missions in Sana'a have received threats," including the embassies of Gulf States and those of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
These countries have played a major role in convincing Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power he held for nearly three decades by brokering a UN-backed deal he agreed to sign last year.

Al-Eriani chairman, No'man deputy of liaison committee

SANA'A, May 13 (Saba) - The liaison committee assigned on Sunday Abdul Kareem al-Eriani as a chairman and Yasin Saeed No'man as a chairman deputy.
In its first meeting, the committee also appointed Nadiah al-Saqaf as media official and the committee's spokeswoman.
The meeting also reviewed the mechanism of the committee's work.
President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi discussed on Saturday with the committee's members the nature of its tasks to contact with the all political, social and cultural powers that are not signatories to the Gulf initiative.
Hadi said that the liaison committee is an affiliate to the President with definite goals aiming to form a preparatory committee for the comprehensive national dialogue.
The liaison committee was formed by a decree issued by President Hadi on May 6. The decree authorized the eight-member committee to take recourse of those who are regarded as useful to make the negotiation process succeed.
It obliged all parties to cooperate in facilitating the committee's tasks in order to accelerate the formation of the national dialogue's preparatory committee for a period not exceeding June 30.

3 people wounded in Yemen's Dhale

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 13, 2012- At least 3 people were wounded, two soldiers and a resident on Sunday morning in clashes between unknown gunmen believed to be Southern Movement militants in the Yemeni city of Dhale where two army bases were seized by the group lately.
The clashes took place in Habel Jabari district of Dhale city when unknown gunmen attacked a military vehicle in a bid to steal the vehicle. Soldiers traded fire with the militants, wounded a resident passing by.
No more details were reported.
Two days ago, gunmen believed to be Southern Movement militants assaulted two army bases in the Yemeni city of Dhale, southern Yemen.
Firs attack took place in the central of Dhale city, when tens of gunmen controlled Dar al-Hed position without any resistance from the Yemeni troops, while the second attack took place at the entrance of Dhale city, when the militants assaulted al-Aerashi base.
According to a resident in Dhale, the group controlled al-Aerashi base after they traded fire with the troops within the position, killing 2 gunmen.
Private sources stated that gunmen looted military equipment from the two bases.
Sporadic clashes have been erupted between soldiers within the military bases and armed men belonged to southern movement militants in the last two Years.
Analysts considered the latest attacks by southern movement militants as new challenges add to the challenges that face Yemen newly elected President Abdu Raboo Mansour Hadi along with the presence of al-Qaeda militants in southern provinces, and Shi'ite Muslim rebels in the north.