Aden: Six suspected al Qaeda gunmen have been
killed in the south Yemen province of Abyan in an air raid by
government forces, a local official and a witness said on Tuesday.
The official said the six militants were killed yesterday
as Yemeni forces raided several al-Qaeda posts in the area of
Arkub, which was overrun on Sunday by armed men suspected of
belonging to the jihadist network.
"I saw six bodies on the side of the road, half-an-hour
after the raid," said a witness.
Al Qaeda gunmen have seized control of several areas in
the lawless Abyan province, including the provincial capital
Zinjibar, Jaar, and Shaqra.
Meanwhile, the body of a suspected suicide bomber was torn
into pieces when a booby-trapped motorbike he was riding
exploded early today in Lawder, according to tribal sources.
Tribesmen siding with government forces are battling
Islamist militants in Abyan, mainly in Zinjibar, where
militants have besieged the army`s 25th Mechanised Brigade
base since May.
The international community has expressed fears that the
power vacuum in the impoverished country could play into the
hands of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the local branch
of the network.
AQAP was behind several attacks, including the failed
Christmas Day attempt to blow a US airliner over Detroit in
Yemen has been gripped by political turmoil since an
uprising against the 33-year-old rule of President Ali
Abdullah Saleh, now recovering from bomb blast wounds, erupted
Hundreds have died in battles between security forces and
protesters, and between security forces and al Qaeda fighters.