Middle East
Yemen 'al-Qaeda fighters' killed in air raids
Officials say group's operatives, including two senior ones, hit by missiles fired by suspected US drones.
Last Modified: 11 May 2012 15:46
Yemeni officials said one of the raids was carried out by a drone but provided no details on the other [EPA]

At least seven suspected al-Qaeda fighters, including two senior operatives, have been killed in air raids in south Yemen, officials say.

The officials said Thursday's air raids targeted the town of Jaar and northeast of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, where the fighters were operating.

One of those killed was in charge of armament, known by his nickname al-Galadi, Yemeni officials said.

He was originally from another province, Marib, and his family arrived later in the day in Jaar for his burial, the officials said. The other four fighters killed were not immediately identified.

The second air raid hit in Shaqra, northeast of Zinjbar, killing two fighters, the Yemeni officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

They said one of those killed was al-Qaeda's second-in-command for Lawder, a town further north that was controlled by the group last year until its residents drove the fighters out.

Setback for al-Qaeda

The operatives have since been trying to stage a comeback in Lawder.

Earlier this week, a Yemeni member of al-Qaeda, who was convicted for his role in the 2000 bombing of a US warship, was killed along with his colleague in an air strike in the southern province of Shabwa. Fahd al-Qasaa and Fahed Salem al-Akdam were travelling in their car.

Residents and a spokesman for the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia group said the attack was carried out by a drone in the Wadi Rafad valley in the country's south.

The US has usually used drones to strike al-Qaeda in Yemen. Yemeni officials said one of Thursday's raids was carried out by a drone but provided no details on the other.

The attacks could be another setback for al-Qaeda, coming just days after details emerged about a Saudi mole within the network who reportedly provided information allowing the CIA to target a key leader of Yemen's terror branch.

There was no immediate comment from the US on whether it was behind the attacks. The two areas hit are part of large swaths of territory in the south that have been held by al-Qaeda for a year.

The US and Yemen have resumed co-operation in the fight against al-Qaeda following a year-long hiatus brought on by anti-government protests that led to the unravelling of Ali Abdullah Saleh's presidency.

Al-Qaeda had taken advantage of Yemen's political turmoil to capture territory and plot attacks against US targets.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list