Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yemen Interior reveals the name of Al-Sabeen Square suicide bomber

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 23, 2012- Yemen's Interior Ministry revealed Wednesday night the identity of the suicide bomber, who carried out the suicide bombing on Yemeni troops last Monday while they were on a parade rehearsal for celebration.
The ministry said on its website the suicide bomber of Al-Sabeen Square bombing is Ameen-Addin Ali Al-Wirafi, he was born 1987, in al-Mashed district of Sana'a.
According to the website the suicide bomber was in the wanted list as a criminal for committing terrorist crimes in Sana'a, Mareb, and Hadhramout provinces.
''We are still investigate on this case to know who is behind the attacker,'' the ministry added.
A Yemeni newspaper close to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh stated on Tuesday that the suicide bomber of Al-Sabeen Square bombing in which hundreds of troops were killed and wounded was an Al-Qaeda prisoner.
Alyaman Alyawam Newspaper (Yemen Today) in which the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh wrote an article, said that the name of the bomber is Ameen-Addin Ali Al-Wirafi and that he is originally form Ibb governorate.
The newspaper said that Al-Warafi was imprisoned on charges of connection to Al-Qaeda.
Nashwan News, a Yemeni online newspaper, said that Al-wrafi was sentenced to five years in prison in 2007 after he was convicted of affiliation to Al-Qaeda, and preparation to carry out suicide bombings against government facilities in Marib and Hadhramout in 2006.
Nashwan News wondered how Al-Wirafi was recruited in the Central Security while he was an Al-Qaeda suspect.
About 96 soldiers were killed and 300 others were wounded at a military parade rehearsal on Monday.
Most of the casualties were from the Central Security Organization - a paramilitary force commanded by Yahya Saleh, a nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Minister of Defense Mohammad Nasser Ahmed and Chief of General Staff Ahmed Ali Al-Ashwal who were present escaped uninjured.
Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that the suicide attack was intended to avenge a U.S.-backed offensive against al-Qaida in southern towns seized by the militant movement last year.
The UN Security Council has condemned "in the strongest terms" the suicide bombing, described the attack as a "heinous act" and vowed to combat "all forms of terrorism".

Clashes between Yemeni troops, al-Qaida fighters in south kill 22 militants, 7 soldiers

By Associated Press
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni military officials say fresh clashes between government troops and al-Qaida fighters in the south have killed 22 militants and seven soldiers.
The officials say the fighting around the town of Bajidar in Abyan province lasted until Wednesday morning. The town was captured more than a year ago by the militants who exploited the political turmoil during Yemen’s popular uprising.
The officials say government jets and heavy artillery pounded militant positions around the provincial capital Zinjibar and Jaar, also under al-Qaida’s control. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The fighting comes just days after a suicide bombing in the capital Sanaa killed nearly 100 soldiers. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for that attack.

Yemen receives billions to avert a humanitarian crisis

May 23, 2012
Saudi Arabia and Western and Gulf states pledged more than $4 billion in aid to Yemen at a Riyadh conference two days after more than 90 Yemeni soldiers were killed in a suicide attack, deepening concerns about al Qaeda’s presence in the country.
In a statement issued in London, seven aid agencies called for urgent food and other aid to head off a humanitarian disaster. They said almost a half of Yemen’s population did not have enough to eat.
At the Riyadh conference, Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, pledged $3.25 billion of a total $4 billion in aid.
Riyadh, which already provides oil and military aid to its impoverished neighbour, convened Western and Arab Gulf nations in a lavish new hotel hung with crystal chandeliers to see how they can help Yemen push ahead with reforms and tackle its poverty and lawlessness.
 “I assert one more time our support to Yemen to back all the phases of the political initiative to help achieve security, stability and prosperity in facing the threats of extremism and terrorism,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told envoys.
The donor group, which is co-chaired by Britain, was discussing political developments since President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in February, ending his three-decade rule in the Arabian Peninsula state after nearly a year of mass protests.
Another meeting, specifically directed at aid pledges, will be held in Riyadh in late June, with a ministerial meeting to follow on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly in September.
 “The future for Yemen is not about one-off donations. The future for Yemen is about the process that’s already been set in train for the transition of that country,” said British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt after the meeting.
Mr. Burt said Britain had pledged an additional $44 million on top of its existing aid to Yemen.
 “More than $4 billion was pledged today. But the significance of today was it was important to reconfirm the support of such a large group of countries for Yemen,” Mr. Burt said.
Monday’s attack on a military parade was the latest violent incident in a country wracked by political turmoil, where the army has split into rival factions and much of the south has fallen under the control of an Islamist militia allied to al Qaeda’s local wing.
Saudi Arabia and Western countries have watched with mounting alarm as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, has taken advantage of the lawlessness to set up a base capable of planning sophisticated international attacks.
 “This [aid] shows the Yemeni-Saudi relationship is quite strong and Saudi Arabia is cognizant that the stability of Saudi Arabia depends on that of Yemen,” said Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi.
In early May, Washington said Western and Arab intelligence agencies had foiled a bomb plot aimed at a passenger airplane. In October 2010, AQAP had tried to send bomb-laden parcels to the United States and in 2009, a bomber from Yemen was caught trying to ignite explosives on a U.S.-bound flight.
In London, Penny Lawrence, international director at Oxfam, said donors were being short-sighted by focusing solely on politics and security in the country.
 “Failure to respond adequately to the humanitarian needs now will put more lives at risk, further entrench poverty and could undermine political transition in the country,” she said.
Wednesday’s Riyadh donor meeting was aimed at strengthening the Yemeni state and returning a semblance of economic stability to a country where 40 per cent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
Yemen’s modest oil exports that were a source of foreign exchange were hit by repeated attacks on pipelines last year. Yemen is rapidly depleting the water in its aquifers, and by some estimates the capital Sanaa may run out of water in the coming decade or sooner.
The planning and international co-operation minister told the conference his country needed an initial $2.17 billion to help stabilize the country, fight militant attacks and ease a humanitarian crisis.
It required a further $5.8 billion in future to develop the economy and national infrastructure, with $3.7 billion needed by 2014, he added.
As the meeting began, Yemeni Finance Minister Sakhr al-Wajih told reporters he would be happy if his country achieved economic growth of 1 per cent in 2012, and that even this modest goal relied on foreign generosity.
Yemen is likely to run a $2.5 billion budget deficit this year, he added. But he was unable to say by how much the economy had contracted during the political turmoil of 2011.
 “The [Saudi] contribution will support development projects agreed upon,” Prince Saud said, without giving details on how the money would be disbursed.
Some $3 billion of aid pledged by the Friends of Yemen group when it first met in 2006 has still not been delivered, the government said in February.
Yemen’s deputy finance minister, Jalal Yaqoub, told Reuters: “Saudi Arabia has shown great generosity... Yemen has to increase its capacity to absorb these funds efficiently. This money must be translated into projects that citizens can actually feel.”
Countries from the Gulf Co-operation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, attended the meeting, as did the United States, the European Union, France, Egypt and Russia, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In April the IMF resumed lending to Yemen, approving the payment of a $93.7 million loan to help it address a balance of payments deficit that worsened during the political turmoil.

Sanaa suicide bomber is terror convict

SANAA, Yemen, May 23 (UPI) -- Allegations arose Wednesday a convicted al-Qaida associate responsible for this week's suicide bombing in Sanaa infiltrated Yemen's Central Security Forces.
Yemen Today, a newspaper backed by deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, said Amin-Addin Ali al-Warafi, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 2007 for ties to al-Qaida, was behind Monday's deadly assault in Sanaa that left more than 400 casualties.
Yemen Today said despite his "past" Warafi infiltrated the Central Security Forces, "striking at the heart of the nation," hinting officials had a hand in the terror attack.
The online publication Nashwan News raised similar questions, calling on the government to investigate.
Mareb Press said 140 were killed and 300 wounded in Monday's bombing. Most of the casualties were soldiers in counterterrorism units headed by Gen. Yehia Mohammed Saleh, a nephew of the ousted president.
A dual suicide bomb attack targeting a busy junction in the capital was thwarted Tuesday evening, authorities said in a statement that urged citizens to pay extra attention to their surroundings.

Watch the video of the suicide bombing in Al-Sabaaen Square

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 23, 2012- Watch the video of Al-Sabaaen Square, after a suicide bomber killed and wounded more than 400 soldiers in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.
This video showed the moment of the explosion. Do Yemeni soldiers deserve the death because they protect their country from al-Qaeda militants?
God blesses them.