Yemen: 12 al Qaeda-linked militants killed

Islamic militants linked with al Qaeda have taken advantage of the turmoil gripping Yemen over anti-government protests.

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2011, 14:43 PM IST

Sanaa: The latest clashes between Yemeni
government forces and al Qaeda-linked militants in southern
Yemen have killed 14, including 12 militants, officials said.

Loud explosions and exchanges of fire were heard in the
capital Sanaa last night, in the neighbourhood where the chief
of the main tribe opposing Yemen`s president lives.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. Three
explosions were also reported near police stations and an
intelligence office in the port city of Aden in southern
Yemen.

A military official yesterday said that negotiations in
the south with the fighters to end the bloodshed there were
deadlocked.

Islamic militants linked with al Qaeda have taken
advantage of the turmoil gripping Yemen over anti-government
protests, and have seized control of a number of towns and the
provincial capital of the southern province of Abyan.

The militants have controlled the towns for months,
terrorising the locals. In recent weeks, the military has gone
on the offensive, but fierce fighting has not shaken the
militants hold on the area and has left thousands of civilians
displaced.

The fighting and the internal turmoil are closely related.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen`s leader of nearly 33 years, has
held onto power in the face of massive protests demanding his
ouster since February. He insists that if he leaves, al Qaeda
will take over the country.

The West views al Qaeda`s branch in Yemen as the most
active and dangerous, and linked to several nearly successful
attacks on US targets, including the plot to bomb a
Detroit-bound airliner in December 2009.

PTI