[QODLink]
Middle East

Yemeni army kills suspected al-Qaeda fighters

Officials say the targeted fighters, who included foreigners, fought in Syria and returned to Yemen.

Last updated: 25 May 2014 14:03
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The attack targeted fighters who had fled from Shabwa and Abyan provinces[AFP]

Yemeni troops have launched a ground assault against al-Qaeda suspects who fled a recent large army operation in the south to a district near the capital Sanaa, killing three fighters, sources told AFP news agency.

"Yemen's anti-terrorism forces carried out a military operation in Arhab… killing three Al-Qaeda militants and arresting four others," a security official said. Arhab is approximately 35 kilometres away from Sanaa.

Tribal sources in the region said the army had closed access to Arhab as it continued to target fighters.

The same sources said that in late 2011, the targeted suspects had fought in Syria, where foreigners had joined the conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels battling to overthrow him.

The fighters, who included foreigners, returned to Yemen and were in the southern al-Qaeda bastions of Shabwa and Abyan before an army offensive that was launched on April 29 drove them to Arhab, according to the tribal sources.

The army says it has inflicted heavy losses upon al-Qaeda during its latest offensive.

Warplanes target suspected fighter

Late on Saturday, Yemeni warplanes launched three air strikes targeting the house of another suspected fighter also in Arhab, tribal sources told AFP, alleging the fighter was also among those who had returned from Syria.

There were casualties, the house was damaged, and two cars were destroyed, the sources told AFP, without giving a toll.

Al-Qaeda exploited the 11-month-long 2011 uprising in Yemen that led to the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and seized large bastions in the south and east of the country.

The army recaptured several major towns in 2012 but has struggled to reassert control in rural areas despite recruiting militia allies among the local tribes.

283

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.