Yemen: Pro-Saleh protests kill seven militants
Dubai: Supporters of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh took to the streets of Yemen`s capital on Friday for the first time since he signed a peace agreement last month as violence broke out on other fronts in the country.
Seven Islamist militants connected to al Qaeda were killed in southern Yemen, residents of a city occupied by the militants said. Also in the south, rebel fighters killed a security officer.
Clashes between security forces, Islamist militants and separatists have become common in the south after nearly a year of protests calling for the end of Saleh`s 33-year rule eroded government control in the south.
Pro-Saleh protesters gathered near the presidential palace in the capital Sanna on Friday waving Yemeni flags and photographs of the outgoing president.
"We all said signing the Gulf initiative will end protests so that life can go back to normal, but the opposition continued its protests, so that`s why were back," said demonstrator Murad al-Unsi.
Saleh`s General People`s Congress party had ended protests in accordance with a Gulf-brokered peace initiative meant to pull Yemen back from the brink of civil war.
"The opposition doesn`t want to calm the situation. They want to get rid of all the supporters of the People`s Congress and we are here to defend ourselves," said Saleh al-Matari as he held up a picture of Saleh.
Saleh said on Saturday he would go to Washington. The United States is considering whether it will grant him a visa.
Any successor to Saleh faces overlapping conflicts throughout the country, including a Shi`ite Muslim rebellion in the north and renewed separatist sentiment in the south, which fought a civil war with Saleh`s north in 1994 after four turbulent years of formal union.
Washington and Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen, both fear continued chaos would allow al Qaeda to build on its already strong presence in the country, which is close to important oil shipping lanes.
Seven Islamist militants connected to al Qaeda were killed in southern Yemen, one of them a nephew of Naser al-Wuhayshi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, residents said.
Three were killed during battles in Zinjibar, the capital of province Abyan. They included leaders Asem al-Wuhayshi, Ibrahim al-Siyri and Huthayfa al-Abi.
The militant group posted fliers in the markets and mosques of Jiar to announce their deaths.
Four other members of al Qaeda were killed in an accident in a warehouse in al-Husn when an explosive device they were assembling went off.
Islamist militants have controlled parts of southern Yemen since May as the protests against Saleh weakened government control of the area.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have seen Saleh as a bulwark against al Qaeda in Yemen and fear that his departure will give the militant group the opportunity to expand its grip on the country`s south.
Last week a US drone attack killed another relative of the al Qaeda leader in one of the group`s strongholds in the strife-torn country.
Islamist fighters have seized chunks of territory in the southern Abyan province. Fighting there has forced tens of thousands of people to flee, compounding a humanitarian crisis in a country where about half a million people are displaced.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India