25 al-Qaeda fighters killed in Yemen

2012-04-20 20:00

kalahari.com

Sanaa - Yemeni government troops launched a surprise attack in the south of the country to recapture an al-Qaeda stronghold, killing 25 Islamist militants, an official said on Friday.

The official said the army succeeded in regaining control over one district on the outskirts of Zinjibar, but the rest of the provincial capital was still in al-Qaeda's hands.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

A defence ministry statement on Friday said the offensive that started two weeks ago around another city in the southern Abyan province, Lawder, has so far killed 250 al-Qaeda militants. Also, 37 Yemeni soldiers have died, it said.

During a year of internal turmoil that eventually led to longtime Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation, al-Qaeda took advantage of a security vacuum to overrun parts of the south.

The US believes al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen is the most dangerous arm of the terror group because of its repeated attempts to carry out attacks in the US.

War on terrorism

In recent weeks, the Yemeni military has been hitting the militants in ground and air operations, while al-Qaeda has carried out some bloody surprise attacks of its own against government forces.

Yemen's government expressed determination.

"The war on terrorism will expand and reach all the terrorist elements; it will continue and will not stop until it curbs it and uproots it," a statement on Friday from the Ministry of Interior read.

Under a power transfer deal brokered by Arab Gulf countries and backed by the United States, Saleh received immunity from prosecution in return for stepping down. Protesters have been on the streets ever since, rejecting the terms.

The new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has pledged to purge Saleh's loyalists and family members from top security and military posts, a step toward restructuring the army to enable it to effectively combat al-Qaeda militants in the south. Hadi's decisions have met with stiff resistance from the Saleh's allies.

The battle in the south between Yemen's army and the al-Qaeda branch is seen as a test of Hadi's ability to combat the Islamist militants.

Demonstrations

The Yemen military offensive in the south appeared to be making gains.

On Friday, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement, "the heroes of the Armed Forces have achieved a great advancement toward Zinjibar", the capital of Abyan province, where al-Qaeda has been dominant.

Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaeda-linked group, confirmed in a statement on Friday that its members have "encountered a massive offensive by Sanaa regime forces, but they have failed" to retake Zinjibar.

Elsewhere in Yemen, demonstrators repeated their long-standing demands against Saleh.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis rallied in the capital, Sanaa, and several other cities demanding trial of Saleh and his family for killing protesters during past year's uprising.

"The people want to prosecute the murderer," the protesters chanted, holding up composite pictures showing Saleh behind bars.

Saleh stepped down in February but remains in Yemen. Some charge he is still meddling in state affairs through relatives and cronies in senior positions.

- AP

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  ali abdullah saleh  |  yemen  |  uprisings  |  yemen protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Who won? Let the News24 App notify you!

Not only can you stay up to date with the latest elections news, you can also get notification of results during the results phase with our easy-to-use app.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Brackenfell - 16:10 PM
    Road name: Frans Conradie Drive Eastbound
    DELAYS approaching Okavango Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 16:04 PM
    Road name: De Waal Drive Outbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching Hospital Bend
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.