Sanaa: Yemeni jets pounded the home of a
suspected Al-Qaeda leader on Wednesday, an army source said, as the
military stepped up pressure on the group believed behind a
botched bid to down a US airliner.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, meanwhile, announced
in London the suspension of direct flights from Yemen until
further security measures are agreed, in the wake of the
Christmas Day Detroit bombing scare.
A Yemeni tribal source confirmed the air strikes in Erq
Al-Shabwan village, in Maarib province, and said a number of
people had been killed. Local forces were responding with
The wave of air strikes, which began in the morning,
blasted the house of Ayed al-Shabwani, one of six Al-Qaeda
leaders the government said were killed in an air strike last
week, the tribal source said.
A military official, who would not be named, said there
had been three strikes on the house and one on an orange grove
near the village where the authorities think Shabwani had
built a safe haven for dozens of Al-Qaeda members.
The official added that there had been a large deployment
of government troops at the city of Maarib, about five kms
from Erq Al-Shabwan village.
During the afternoon, witnesses said, jets twice sent
missiles smashing into the orange grove and afterwards
continued to fly in the area.
The strikes come just days after Yemen said it killed six
suspected leaders, including Shabwani, of Al-Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula in Saada province.