Yemen president sacks Saleh nephew as military attache

Brigadier Ammar Saleh fired as Al Jazeera airs interview with ex-al-Qaeda informant saying he funded US embassy attack.

    President Hadi's exiled government and Houthi rebels have confirmed they will attend Geneva peace talks [Getty Images]
    President Hadi's exiled government and Houthi rebels have confirmed they will attend Geneva peace talks [Getty Images]

    Brigadier Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, the nephew of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has been dismissed by presidential decree from his role as a military attache in Ethiopia.

    Thursday's announcement came on the same day that Al Jazeera aired an interview with former Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) informant Hani Muhammad Mujahid, in which he said the brigadier had handed him funds for the 2008 attack on the US embassy in Sanaa, which killed 18 people.

    President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a presidential decree on Thursday "calling for the dismissal of Brigadier Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh from his military duties as a military attache in Ethiopia".

    Informant: Former Yemen President Saleh supported al-Qaeda

    Saleh's nephew was the deputy director of the National Security Bureau at the time of the embassy attack.

    Mujahid also alleged that the brigadier had a close relationship with Qasim al-Raymi, AQAP's military commander.

    The former informant made the claims to Al Jazeera for a documentary called Al-Qaeda Informant, which focuses on his allegations that former President Saleh supported, and even directed, AQAP while he was Yemen's leader.

    During his work as an informant, Mujahid said he provided information about both the US embassy assault and an attack that killed eight Spanish tourists in July 2007.

    In both cases, he says his information was ignored.

    On Thursday, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Esteve Maso, a survivor of the 2007 car bomb attack at the Balqis Temple in Marib, Yemen, had called on Spanish judges and prosecutors to reopen their investigation into the bombing.

    Maso lost his wife in the bombing, which also killed two Yemenis.

    Judge Fernando Andreu of the Audiencia Nacional led the investigation in 2007.

    A team of investigators went to Yemen at the time. But after giving an initial response to a request for information, Yemeni authorities failed to reply to Spanish investigators and so the case in Madrid was closed, pending new information.

    Peace talks

    Meanwhile, Yemen's Houthi rebels agreed on Thursday to join UN-backed peace talks in Geneva planned for June 14.

    RELATED: Al-Qaeda Informant

    A coalition of Arab states has been bombing Houthi forces for more than two months in an attempt to restore Hadi, who has fled to Saudi Arabia.

    About 2,000 people have been killed and half a million displaced by the fighting.

    Coalition bombings killed about 58 people across Yemen on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Houthi-controlled state news agency Saba.

    Among them, 48 people, most of them women and children, were reportedly killed in air strikes on their houses in the Houthi heartland in the rural far north adjoining Saudi Arabia.

    The reports could not be independently verified.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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