Muscat: Oman has launched an investigation into intelligence reports that al Qaeda members have entered the country from Yemen, a top government official has revealed.
Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Al Bu Saidi, the secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Omani security forces were ready to deter any incursion threat along its borders with neighbouring Yemen.
The Gulf News quoted Sayyid Badr, as saying that ‘reports of an infiltration by al Qaeda elements were not fully confirmed as yet, but were nevertheless being investigated by military authorities.’
The Arabic daily Oman cited media reports purporting that al Qaeda fighters were attempting to sneak across the common border between the two countries in the face of an ongoing onslaught by Yemeni forces.
It follows the crushing of the so-called ‘Emirate of Azzan’ established by the terrorist organisation in the Shabwa governorate of Yemen.
The paper said that Yemeni forces had recently overrun Azzan, a known al Qaeda bastion in Shabwa, forcing insurgent elements to flee.
Sayyid Badr described the issue as a “top security matter and a highly sensitive issue”.
He stressed that the issue was being handled in the context of the “various developments and threats being witnessed by the region and the world at large”.