Strike Kills Five Al Qaeda Militants In Yemen
Send a link to a friend
[May 12, 2014]
By Mohammed Ghobari
SANAA (Reuters) - An air strike killed
five al Qaeda militants in Yemen on Monday, state media said, as the
army sent reinforcements to two regions in what appeared to be a further
expansion of an offensive against the Islamist group.
The attack destroyed a car carrying the militants in the Wadi
Abida district of the northern province of Maarib, a military source
and a local official told Reuters. Both had earlier said it was
carried out by a drone.
The strike appeared to be the latest move in a U.S.-backed campaign
to crush al Qaeda's Yemeni wing, al Qaeda in the Islamic Peninsula
(AQAP), whose fighters who have mounted dozens of attacks on
government officials, security forces and foreigners in recent
In a further sign of the deteriorating security situation, members
of the presidential guard clashed with armed tribesmen in a car near
the presidential palace in central Sanaa on Monday, a police source
said. Residents reported hearing heavy gunfire in the area.
It was the third clash in that part of the city since Friday; police
said it had occurred when the tribesmen rammed their way through a
The previous two incidents had been blamed on Islamist militants,
and appeared part of a pattern of assaults aimed at signaling their
resilience in the face of the government's offensive.
Al Qaeda and its allies have grown in strength in Yemen, taking
advantage of the political turmoil following a mass uprising in 2011
that eventually overthrew the president.
The chaos has jeopardised a delicate transfer of power to an interim
government, posed a threat to oil-producing neighbor Saudi Arabia
and alarmed Western powers, who fear al Qaeda could launch
international attacks from the impoverished country.
More special forces were on their way to Maarib, east of the capital
Sanaa, and the central province of al-Bayda, military sources told
[to top of second column]
Yemen's army says it has already killed dozens of militants since it
stepped up its offensive against AQAP - regarded as one of al
Qaeda's most lethal wings - two weeks ago.
A series of drone strikes in late April in al-Bayda and the southern
provinces of Abyan and Shabwa killed at least 65 militants, said
The United States has acknowledged using drones in Yemen, though it
does not comment on individual strikes.
Revenge attacks blamed on Islamist militants have increased in the
aftermath of the army campaign.
A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a military
police complex in the southern coastal city of Mukallah on Sunday,
killing at least 11 soldiers.
(Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by
Angus McDowall and Andrew Heavens)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.