Al-Qaeda attack kills 20 Yemen soldiers

2012-05-07 20:48

Sana'a - Al-Qaeda militants staged a surprise attack on Monday on a Yemeni army base in the south, killing 20 soldiers and capturing 25 just hours after a US drone strike killed a senior figure in the terror network wanted in connection with the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

It was not immediately clear if the pre-dawn attack on the military base in the southern Abyan province was in retaliation for the death of Fahd al-Quso, a top al-Qaeda leader on the FBI's most wanted list.

The militants managed to reach the base both from the sea and by land, gunning down troops and making away with weapons and other military hardware after the blitz attack, Yemeni military officials said.

Government forces later shelled militant positions elsewhere in Abyan, killing 16 militants, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Yemen has been waging an offensive on al-Qaeda, whose fighters took advantage of the country's political turmoil during the past year to expand their hold in the south, seizing entire cities and towns and large swathes of land. Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar has been held by al-Qaeda for a year.

The new Yemeni president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has promised improved co-operation with the US to combat the militants. On Saturday, he said the fight against al-Qaeda is in its early stages. Hadi took over in February from long-time authoritarian leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

On Sunday, al-Quso, the top al-Qaeda leader, was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle along with another operative in the southern Shabwa province, Yemeni military officials said.

The drone strike was carried out by the CIA, after an extended surveillance operation by the CIA and US military, two US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI's most wanted list, with a $5m reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the US for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the harbour of Aden, Yemen, in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured.

Underpants bomber

He served more than five years in a Yemeni prison for his role in the attack and was released in 2007. He briefly escaped prison in 2003 but later turned himself in to serve the rest of his sentence.

A telephone text message claiming to be from al-Qaeda's media arm confirmed al-Quso was killed in the strike.

He was also one of the most senior al-Qaeda leaders publicly linked to the 2009 Christmas airliner attack and allegedly met in Yemen with the suspected Nigerian bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, before the Nigerian left to execute his failed attack over Detroit with a bomb concealed in his underwear.

In December 2010, al-Quso was designated a global terrorist by the State Department, an indication that his role in al-Qaeda's Yemen offshoot, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, had grown more prominent.

Local Yemeni official Abu Bakr bin Farid and the Yemeni Embassy in Washington confirmed al-Quso was killed in Rafd, a remote mountain valley in Shabwa. It is the area where many al-Qaeda leaders are believed to have taken cover, including the US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US air strike last year.

Al-Quso's association with al-Qaeda dates back more than a decade, when he met with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Bin Laden allegedly told him to "eliminate the infidels from the Arabian Peninsula".

From there, al-Quso rose through the ranks. He was assigned in Aden to videotape the bombing of the USS Cole but fell asleep. Despite the lapse, he was declared the regional leader in Aden. He was also believed to have played a prominent role in al-Qaeda's attack and the capture last year of Zinjibar.

- AP

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Montague Gardens - 12:40 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Bosmansdam Road and Racecourse Road due to roadworks
  • Monday Mitchells Plain - 12:39 PM
    Road name: Wespoort Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Merrydale Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. 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

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3795.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....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.