Friday, April 13, 2012

Yemeni air raids kill 18 al-Qaida militants in south

ADEN, Yemen, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Fighter jets of the Yemeni air forces bombed bases of the al-Qaida militants in the southern province of Abyan on Thursday, killing at least 18 terrorists, as army forces backed by pro-government tribesmen continued their offensive against the terrorist group for the fourth day, a military official told Xinhua.

Three air raids were carried out by the air forces against targets of the al-Qaida group in Umm Ayan region in the outskirts of Lauder town, about 150 km northeast of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, leaving at least 18 terrorist killed, the local military official said on condition of anonymity.

"The successful air bombing destroyed three fortifications of the al-Qaida, killing a wanted leader of the group along with 17 others around the entrances of Lauder town," the official said.

Local residents and tribal leaders, who are attacking the al- Qaida militants alongside the army forces, confirmed the air strikes to Xinhua, saying that two military aircrafts had dropped several bombs and rockets on the al-Qaida sites and arms caches.

"We heard sounds of the jets hovering above our region and huge explosions. We learnt later that the al-Qaida fighters were killed, " they said.

"Also military planes are flying over the neighboring town of Mudiyah, but the area had not witnessed any air raids," they added.

Meanwhile, severe clashes raged between dozens of al-Qaida militants and army-backed tribesmen outside Lauder town after a reinforcement convoy of the terrorist tried to storm the town, according to a tribal chief.

"The militants are still shelling the village, trying to break into it," the tribal chief said, adding that "four militiamen were killed during the confrontations."

On Wednesday night, a U.S. drone killed at least 14 suspected al-Qaida militants and wounded 10 others in Abyan, a governmental official told Xinhua.

Dozens of people have been killed in the ongoing fighting since Monday around the strategically important town of Lauder in Abyan.

U.S. drones and Yemeni fighter planes have regularly targeted al-Qaida militants in southern Yemeni regions, which were seized by the group in May 2011, killing and injuring scores of terrorists.

Taking advantage of the one-year-long political conflicts in Yemen, the resurgent al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, locally known as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), has taken control of several cities and swathes across the country's restive southern provinces.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Post a Comment

Search this blog