Yemen army says Qaeda routed from town

2012-05-17 19:04

kalahari.com

Aden - Yemeni troops sent al-Qaeda fighters fleeing from the southern city of Loder on Thursday and pressed towards militant-controlled Zinjibar, military officials said, as an army offensive pushed into a sixth day.

"We have cleansed Loder [of al-Qaeda], and the fighters have been forced to flee," a military official involved in the assault told AFP.

He said the gunmen retreated from three positions on the outskirts of Loder, in southern Abyan province, a city they have been trying to overrun for several months.

Thousands of residents took to the streets to celebrate the military victory, while gunmen from local militias danced and waved their guns in the air.

"Today we accomplished a great victory against al-Qaeda," said Ali Ahmed, a spokesperson for the Popular Resistance Committees militia, comprising local residents who are fighting alongside the army against al-Qaeda.

"We will continue chasing them until they have been ousted from all of Abyan," said Ahmed, referring to the province where the extremists have taken control of several cities since last May.

The bodies of three soldiers, three local gunmen, and two al-Qaeda fighters were discovered near the city on Thursday, a military official said without giving details.

And a civilian was killed and five others wounded in an army raid on the town of Shaqra, also controlled by al-Qaeda, a local official said.

Later in the day, six al-Qaeda militants were killed in a Yemeni air raid on a militant checkpoint in the town.

Thursday's casualties bring the death toll from six days of fighting to at least 164, including 111 al-Qaeda operatives, 23 soldiers, 17 civilians and 13 militiamen.

US drone

The military, backed by US experts, will now turn their attention to Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, which the jihadists have held for the past year.

"We will now focus on Zinjibar," said one military official.

The army has failed in several attempts to retake Zinjibar, but officials and diplomats said on Wednesday it was making progress.

The air force pounded targets in the southern cities of Shaqra and Arqoub, both near Zinjibar, late on Wednesday, and fierce battles continue in the city's vicinity.

And a suspected US drone strike killed three al-Qaeda militants in eastern Yemen, a local official said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the trio were killed in a strike on their car in Shibam, a historic city in Hadramawt province.

The ministry of defence said two of the militants, Zeid bin Taleb and Mutii Bilalafi, were local al-Qaeda leaders.

Air strikes on al-Qaeda targets have increased since the launch on Saturday of the offensive against the extremist group and after newly elected President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi vowed to fight the network.

His latest pledge to destroy Al-Qaeda came just days after the White House announced that a plot by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the group's local branch, to blow up a US airliner had been successfully thwarted.

A force of around 20 000 soldiers from all regions in the south are believed to be engaged in the operation.

They are backed by the local militias that, since the ouster of veteran leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, have thrown their support behind the military.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  abdrabuh mansur hadi  |  yemen
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

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

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 Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
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

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...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.