Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yemeni authorities arrested two al-Qaeda militants in Sana'a

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 22, 2012- Yemeni security forces arrested on Tuesday morning two suspected al-Qaeda militants in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a, a day after a suicide bomber killed and wounded more than 400 Yemeni troops on the ceremony's rehearsal.
Security officials said two al-Qaeda militants were managed to carry out attacks on the buses of participants of the military parade for the celebration of Yemen's National Day.
Ali Mohammed Nahshel and Jehad Mohammed Saed al-Aosta were arrested in al-Mesbahi Round by security forces while they were intending to commit suicide bombing on the buses of participants.
They two suspects were on a motorcycle carrying an explosive blast, the sources added.
Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi Tuesday attended a military parade in Sanaa in honor of Unity Day.
Hadi delivered a televised speech on late Monday promising to eradicate extremism.
"The war on terror will continue no matter the sacrifices," he vowed.
For security reasons the military parade, attended by high-ranking officers and other dignitaries, was held at the Faculty of Aviation and Air Defense.
"We will not let terrorists intimidate our military. We will continue to fight evil … until our land is free," Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Ahmed Ali Ashwal said in a speech.
On May 22, 1990, the Republic of Yemen was born, uniting the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and the Yemen Arab Republic.

Somber Yemen parade takes place after huge bomb attack

By Mohammed Ghobari
SANAA | May 22, 2012-  (Reuters) - Yemeni soldiers marched in a National Day parade on Tuesday as the president watched from behind a bullet-proof glass shield in a show of defiance after a bomber killed more than 90 troops in an attack on the ceremony's rehearsal.
A somber mood hung over the event, meant to celebrate the 1990 unification of north and south Yemen, but it passed off without any repeat of Monday's bloodshed despite militant threats to carry out more attacks.
The bombing, one of the deadliest in Yemen in recent years, was a setback in its battle against Islamists linked to al Qaeda and heightened U.S. concerns over a country in the front line of Washington's global war on militants.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its affiliate Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) both claimed responsibility.
Heavy security surrounded President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and senior civilian and military officials as they watched Tuesday's parade, which was moved from the scene of the attack at Sabaeen Square to the air force academy in Sanaa.
Hadi, who took over after former President Ali Abdullah Saleh surrendered power in November following months of protests against his 33-year rule, told victims' families on Monday that the fight against al Qaeda would carry on undaunted.
"The war on terrorism will continue until it is uprooted and annihilated completely, regardless of the sacrifices," Hadi said, quoted by the state news agency.
Patrols were stepped across the city and dozens of policemen stood guard at street intersections. Few people ventured out, partly due to the holiday and partly for fear of more attacks.
"We are sad for our comrades, but al Qaeda will not scare us," said Khaled al-Ansi, a soldier stationed at a street corner in central Sanaa.
The huge explosion, carried out by a man in a military uniform in the middle of the tightly-packed parade rehearsal, killed more than 90 people and wounded at least 220, according to the Defence Ministry.
One Yemeni investigator said the bomber was probably a rogue soldier recruited by al Qaeda.
Turkish Ambassador Fazli Corman, who attended the ceremony, told Reuters: "Everyone was relieved at the end that it went safely, there was not a celebratory atmosphere, it was solemn."
"All the foreign ambassadors were there, it was a strong message of solidarity," he said.
Hamoud Al-Hitar Hitar, an expert on Islamist groups, said the incident showed how dangerous and organized al Qaeda was as it was able to reach into the heart of the army.
"Al Qaeda now have a large and strong stock-pile of weapons including tanks, rockets, Katyushas. All that they are missing are planes," he said.
A similar attack was likely to happen again, he said.
Saeed Obaid, a Yemeni researcher of Islamist groups, said al Qaeda wanted to control all Yemen and to spread its influence across the Middle East.
"Al Qaeda will definitely continue to perpetrate these terrorist attacks but they are unlikely to be on such a grand scale," he told Reuters. "The point al Qaeda made through yesterday's attack was to flex its muscles and show its strength."
At a NATO summit in Chicago on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was very concerned about extremist activity in Yemen and pledged more aid to counter it.
"That's important for U.S. safety. It's also important for the stability of Yemen and the region," Obama said.
His counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, telephoned Hadi to offer U.S. help in the investigation, saying Washington "would stand by Yemen's side at this difficult time", the White House said.
Washington is increasing its support for Hadi's government and the U.S. military has targeted militants in Yemen with drones, which have frequently killed civilians and are deeply resented by Yemenis, even the many who abhor al Qaeda.
A diplomatic source in Yemen said that between 60 and 70 U.S. military experts have arrived in Yemen from Bahrain over the past two weeks to help in the fight against al Qaeda.
A U.S. military trainer was seriously wounded in an ambush on Sunday claimed by Ansar al-Sharia. An official U.S. figure for current military aid was not available.
Exploiting turmoil resulting from the months of protests that helped topple Saleh, militants have seized swathes of territory in the south and threaten shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
The AQAP said the parade attack was in response to the "crimes" of the security forces in southern Abyan province.
Yemeni troops had closed in on the southern militant-held town of Jaar on Sunday, part of a new U.S.-backed offensive launched this month to regain control of territory and towns seized by Ansar al-Sharia.

Missing Spanish police officer found dead in Yemen

May 22, 2012
A Spanish police officer assigned to the Spanish Embassy in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, who went missing five days ago, has been found dead on the outskirts of that city, Spanish Foreign Ministry officials told Efe Tuesday.
Antonio Cejudo, who had been posted in that country for two years, belonged to the riot control unit and his whereabouts had been unknown since last Thursday when he was scheduled to travel to Spain, one of his brothers said.
The police officer's body was found shot in the head on a hill outside Sana'a with his service weapon by his side, the Spanish National Police said.
The 38-year-old officer had been dead for three days, forensic specialists said.
The police officer's body was found at a remote, difficult to reach location and was identified by a member of the security unit at the Spanish Embassy.
Yemeni judicial authorities are investigating the circumstances of the officer's death, and, according to Spanish Foreign Ministry officials, a call for an autopsy has not been ruled out.
Following the officer's disappearance, his brother Javier Cejudo said in a Twitter posting that "the situation looks bad" and "it appears to be a kidnapping," though the Spanish government continues to study a number of hypotheses on exactly what happened.
The police officer, who had been diagnosed with a serious illness a month ago, left the embassy in Sana'a carrying his gun in a car of the diplomatic legation, police officials told Efe.
The agent had planned to arrive in Madrid last Friday on vacation, but when his family lost contact with him, they got in touch with the embassy.
The country's judicial police and security forces mobilized to find him, as did the attache of the Spanish Interior Ministry and personnel from other European countries including France, Italy and Germany.
The Spanish Embassy is in the process of repatriating the body according to the protocol established by Yemeni judicial authorities.
Cejudo, who had been assigned to the riot police unit in the southern Spanish city of Granada, was separated and had no children.
Since 2010 he had been detailed to the security unit of the Spanish Embassy in Sana'a. EFE

Jewish killed in the Yemeni capital

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 22, 2012- A Yemeni Jewish was stabbed to death on Tuesday by an armed man in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.
Harun Yusuf Zindani, 50, was attacked at Saawan market near the US embassy in northeast Sana'a, according to his son, Yehya.
News Yemen website said that Zindani was stabbed in his neck for three times by Abed al-Harbi, after they were disrupting who buys Qat handkerchief.
The victim was taken to the hospital and later died of his wounds

15 people wounded in Aden

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 22, 2012- At least 15 people were wounded on Tuesday in fighting between Southern Movement supporters and Islah party followers in the Yemeni southern sea port of Aden. 
According to local news website the fighting took place in Crater district of Aden when a rally organized by Islah party, Yemen’s Islamic faction and the main block of the Opposition led by al-Ahmars' family, was attacked by armed men belong to Southern Movement, which seeks independence from the north, wounding 15 people from the two sides.
Barakish.net website reported that sticks and knives have been used during the fighting.