News / Middle East

Yemeni Army Kills 7 al-Qaida Fighters

A handout photo from Yemen's Defense Ministry shows Yemeni troops taking position during the fight against al-Qaida militants in the southern province of Shabwa, April 30, 2014.
A handout photo from Yemen's Defense Ministry shows Yemeni troops taking position during the fight against al-Qaida militants in the southern province of Shabwa, April 30, 2014.
Reuters
Yemen  Government troops killed an al-Qaida commander from Uzbekistan and six other fighters in a battle in south Yemen on Thursday, the third day of a military offensive against the Islamist group, a local military source said.
 
The Uzbek citizen, known as Abu Muslim al-Uzbeki, died during fighting in the province of Abyan, the source told Reuters. Two days ago, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi said 70 percent of al-Qaida fighters in Yemen were foreigners.
 
Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its off-shoot Ansar al-Sharia have hampered the U.S.-allied country's efforts to restore stability since a revolt in 2011 that forced a change in government.
 
Hundreds of people have died in bombings, suicide attacks and raids by the militant group against military and government facilities and foreign nationals.
 
Stability in Yemen, which shares a long border with the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, became an international concern in recent years after AQAP tried to carry out attacks abroad, including an attempt blow up a U.S.-bound plane.
 
Since 2012, AQAP's main base has been Abyan's mountainous al-Mahfad area, where militants fled after the army, with U.S. help, drove them from towns and areas they had seized during the chaotic uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
 
Yemeni troops began their offensive on al-Mahfad, which spans 20,000 square kms (7,700 square miles), on Tuesday, backed by air force planes and hundreds of local militiamen.
 
A Yemeni official and a tribal source told Reuters that the head of the AQAP cell in al-Mahfad had died.
 
The tribal source said the cell leader, known as Ali bin Lakraa', had died of wounds inflicted during air strikes that targeted the militants' training camps in Mahfad earlier this month.
 
"His cell was the most active of AQAP and Ansar al-Shariah in Yemen. That cell launched multiple operations that targeted the military and oil and gas facilities," the official said.
 
A local source described him as "one of the most high profile and active al-Qaida leaders in Abyan and Shabwa provinces".
 
State news agency Saba said on Thursday that the army had directed "painful blows" to militants in al-Mahfad. The battle was being overseen by the defense minister himself, it said.
 
According to Saba, the governor of the southern al-Bayda province and the head of the southern military command survived an ambush on Thursday, but three of his guards were killed.
 
So far around 12 al-Qaida fighters and five Yemeni soldiers have been killed, according to local officials and state media.
 
However, independent media outlets from south Yemen suggest the army is encountering stiff resistance from militants and is suffering heavier losses than the government is ready to admit.
 
The Aden al-Ghad newspaper described the fighting near al-Mahfad as "vicious" and published what it said were exclusive photos of burnt-out of armored vehicles.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs