Yemen arrests 14 suspected al Qaeda members

Police arrested 14 suspected members of al Qaeda in a raid.

San`a: Police arrested 14 suspected
members of al Qaeda in a raid on one of the group`s alleged
hideouts in south Yemen, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry statement said the raid took place last
night in Abyan province in the town of Lawder, 250 kilometers
southeast of the capital where government troops have for
weeks been battling what it describes as al Qaeda elements.

The statement added that further raids are planned in
the area.

Elsewhere in south Yemen, gunmen from a separatist
movement attacked an army post in Rabwa near the town of
Habalein and killed four soldiers. Two of the attackers died
as well.

Clashes between the military and separatists continued
throughout the night, said officials on condition of anonymity
because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The south was once a separate country and simmering
tensions there have compounded Yemen`s troubles as it
struggles with a resurgent al Qaeda movement. Yemen is also
the poorest country in the Arab world and home to heavily
armed tribes that barely acknowledge the central government`s

The unrest in southern Yemen is separate from a
six-year conflict in the country`s north between government
troops and Shiite rebels. That conflict appears to be drawing
to a close since the two sides agreed to a cease-fire last

Southerners who joined a unified Yemeni 1990 have
started a political movement demanding secession from the
North, blaming the northerners for marginalising them.

Al Qaeda has taken advantage of southern
dissatisfaction with the government and established a presence
in the remote region.


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