Tuesday, May 15, 2012

At least 44 killed in offensive on Yemen militants

By Mohammed Mukhashaf
May 15, 2012
ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - At least 44 people including 30 Islamist militants were killed overnight in Yemen, officials and residents said on Tuesday, as the government pressed ahead with a new U.S.-backed offensive against insurgents in the south.
The Islamist rebellion is of serious concern to the United States and to Yemen's much bigger neighbour Saudi Arabia, which both fear that instability could give al Qaeda's Yemen-based regional wing a bigger foothold near oil shipping routes through the Red Sea.
Residents and local officials said heavy fighting erupted late on Monday between the army and militants in an area called al-Jabalain in the south, as troops tried to advance on the militant-held city of Jaar.
The clashes continued until early on Tuesday, killing at least eight militants and one Yemeni soldier, they said, adding that the army had captured two Somali Islamist fighters.
Since the start of anti-government protests in early 2011, Islamist militants calling themselves Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) have expanded their influence in Yemen, seizing several towns and swathes of territory in the south.
Although the group is inspired by al Qaeda, the precise nature of their operational ties is unclear.
Both seek the application of Islamic law and Ansar al-Sharia this month said it had released more than 70 captured Yemeni soldiers on orders from Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations working in Yemen called in a statement on "involved parties to take all necessary steps to avoid civilian casualties and to minimise collateral damage".
In an Internet message on Tuesday, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri said a power transition deal that eased long-ruling President Abdullah Saleh from power was a "great plot" by the United States and Western-allied Saudi Arabia to prevent Islamic militants from taking over in Yemen.
"All of the corrupt forces have agreed to fight the Mujahidden under the American flag and with Saudi funding," Zawahri said in the audio recording, posted on Islamist websites, whose authenticity could not be independently verified.
"The popular movement ... should be determined in cleansing the country from corrupt politicians who suck the people's blood like vampires ... and moving towards building a Muslim Yemen governed by God's law," he said.
On Tuesday morning, an air strike hit two suspected militant vehicles in Jaar, killing seven passengers and three others in a nearby house, residents said.
As people gathered to assess the damage, a second strike killed six of them, all civilians, the residents added.
Near the southern town of Lawdar, 12 militants, five government-allied tribal fighters, and two soldiers were killed in clashes in an area called Jebel Yasuf, according to a member of one of the tribal committees that have sprung up in the south to fill a security vacuum and fend off Islamist fighters.
Washington has also stepped up its drone attacks in Yemen since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, and the Pentagon said last week it had resumed sending military trainers.

Did Babel al-Sanabani deserve the death.. see the video

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 15, 2012- A video showed how the bodyguard of Yemen's Prime minster, Abdul Malek al-Ansi killed Babel al-Sanabani, the bodyguard in Accede Institute.
 Last Saturday, a gate keeper was killed by Yemen's prime minister Mohammed Salem Basndwa in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.
Babel al-Sanabani, a gate keeper in Exceed Language Institute, was shot dead by the bodyguards belong to the daughter of the Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basndwa.
The killed tried to prevent the murder along with 3 bodyguards others from entering the institute with their arms, but they refused the order firing on the soldier, killing him immediately.
Yemen's Prime minister ordered the Interior Ministry to arrest the murder as soon as possible to investigate him to know the reason of killing.
The killer handed himself over to Yemen's Interior Ministry.
No more details were reported.

Scandal of al-Iman Mosque in Yemen

Chiara Onassis | 15 May 2012
SANA’A: Early last month reports came out that Yemen’s finance ministry had release large sums of money for the construction of a mosque within the grounds of al-Iman University, which incidentally happens to belong to controversial Sheikh Abdel Mageed al-Zindani.
The prominent cleric and tribal leader has figured on several of America’s most wanted terror lists and was accused by the former Yemeni regime of having engineered last June’s attack against the presidential compound.
Yemenis rose in anger when they learned that Finance Minister Sakhr al-Wajeeh has agreed to allocate a reported $5 million towards the construction of the mosque while Yemen was struggling with its worst recorded economic crisis in decades and a catastrophic humanitarian situation.
The national reconciliation government which received a great deal of criticism when Al-Wajeeh approved the funding of the mosque, justified the move by saying that the amount had been allocated by the former regime and that the ministry was only responsible for approving it.
The Public Fund Court now demanded a suspension of all funding-related activities while lawyers are examining documents.
Lawyer Nazih al-Emad, who leads the prosecution stated that the government’s decision to approve this amount of money should be considered a crime and a misappropriation of public funds. He demanded the suspension of any procedures related to the funding amount and claimed that he will seek to have those responsible for the allocation held accountable.

10 al-Qaeda militants killed along with 9 civilians in Yemen

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 15, 2012- According to witnesses and officials two al-Qaeda militants were killed along with 9 civilians in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, where fierce battles have been taking place for more than a month between militants linked to al-Qaeda and Yemeni troops backed by tribesmen.
The sources said that two Yemeni air strikes hit on Tuesday morning a house in the Yemeni city of Jaar of Abyan province killing two al-Qaeda militants in the first raid while nine civilians who had gathered around the residence right after the attack died in a second air raid.
In related news, at least 8 al-Qaeda militants along with 2 committee fighters were killed and 8 committee fighters were wounded on Thursday morning during clashes between the militants and tribesmen in the city of Lawder, another town in the southern Abyan province..
Meanwhile an army official said that two soldiers were killed in battles between Yemen's army and Al-Qaeda militants around Lawder of Abyan province.
Close sources said that Yemeni army backed by tribesmen regained control over Jabel Yossef in Abyan.

Yemen police arrested the attacker of power lines

May 15, 2012
Police in Mareb province, Yemen, said Monday they had arrested a man suspected of sabotaging power lines.
Abdullah Medraj was arrested after allegedly attacking a power tower and was severely burned after throwing a metal stick at the power lines, the Interior Ministry said.
Medraj was taken to a hospital in al-Jada'an for treatment, Almasdar Online reported.
Since last year's uprising, Yemen has been plagued by blackouts as a result of attacks on its power lines.

Yemen tightens security to foil al-Qaeda suicide attack in Sana'a

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 15, 2012- Yemen's Interior Ministry warned on its websites of potential attacks by an al-Qaeda militant in the Yemeni capital Sana'a.
''Abdullah Mohammed Jaber al-Shabwani, one of al-Qaeda militants in Shabwa province sneaked into Sana'a with his car planning to commit a suicide attack on Yemeni troops,'' the website said.
The ministry announced on Monday night of tightening security measures after uncovering plans for al-Qaeda to launch suicide attacks targeting vital facilities in Sana’a.
''We ordered all Yemeni troops in Sana'a to be on alert in order to foil al-Shabwani attempt to commit suicide attack in Sana'a,'' the statement read.