News / Middle East

Al-Qaida Militants Kill 20 Yemeni Soldiers

Edward Yeranian
Yemeni officials report al-Qaida militants killed at least 20 soldiers in a raid Monday on a military base in the country's south.  Some reports describe the attack as retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that apparently killed a top al-Qaida leader involved in the bombing of a U.S. Navy warship in 2000.

It was just the latest in a series of al-Qaida attacks on Yemeni government troops in and near Abyan province in recent months.

Al-Qaida militants reportedly attacked the army base from both land and sea, causing many casualties.

Reuters news agency reported that a spokesman for the group claims to have captured 28 soldiers and a tank in the predawn attack.  A similar raid on another Yemeni military outpost in March killed about 100 government soldiers.

The assault came less than a day after Yemeni officials said an air strike in southern Yemen had killed al-Qaida militant Fahd al-Quso, accused of involvement in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole at the port of Aden.  Quso was on the "most wanted" list of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Al-Qaida forces took control of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, in May last year during the popular uprising against then-President Ali Abdallah Saleh.  The group, known as Ansar al Shariah, set up a self-styled Islamic emirate in parts of the region.

Arab satellite channels recently broadcast a message by Ansar al Shariah urging government soldiers to surrender to the group to receive a “pardon.”  A photo published about ten days ago purportedly shows the head of the group releasing a number of captive soldiers.

However, Stephen Steinbeiser, who heads the American Institute for Yemeni Studies in Sanaa, does not believe al-Qaida is gaining popularity across the country.

“They haven't been able to really come into the cities, at least as far as we can tell.  And, they don't really have a cohesive, attractive message right now. If they can develop one and if they somehow receive funding to actually support it with money, then I think people will find it more attractive, but right now it doesn't seem like they have broad support,” Steinbeiser said.

Steinbeiser also stresses that the new Yemeni government, under the leadership of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has been working to overcome many problems that arose during the lengthy popular uprising to oust former president Saleh.

"There is a sense that Hadi is getting stronger, especially with the re-arranging, the shuffling of the army. I am actually kind of impressed by how the transitional government has been able to get on top of things like that. If the army falls apart then al-Qaida can pretty much do whatever it wants, so it's critical to keep the army unified, under control of the government,” Steinbeiser said.

President Hadi recently removed several top former military commanders who are close relatives of former president Saleh, including his son.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid