Monday, 29 October 2012

Drone strikes kill 3 Qaida members in North Yemen

AFP

SANAA suspected that us drone strikes killed three Al-Qaeda militants in the Northern Yemeni province of Saada on Sunday in the first such raid against the militant network there, tribal sources told AFP.

"Three Al-Qaeda suspects were killed in three separate drone strikes in Saada," a tribal source said, adding that the raids targeted Wadi al-Abu Jabara, a bastion of Al-Qaeda about 250 kilometers (155 miles) North of the capital city of Yemen.

A second tribal source confirmed the toll, saying that Sunday strike "was the first by a U.S. drone in the Northern Saada province." The United States is the only country that drones in the region operates.

The Governor of Saada, Sheikh Fares Manaa, confirmed on the website of the Ministry of defence that "three members of Al-Qaeda were killed during an air attack" in Wadi al-Abu Jabara.

He said the dead men were two Saudis and a Yemeni.

"The two Saudis gave money to Al Qaeda to financing of terrorist actions" in Yemen, he said, adding that a local leader of the militant network, Omar Saleh al-Tiss was wounded in the raid.

The Governor has not identified that the strikes.

Yemen the mountainous north is a stronghold of the Huthis, Zaidi Shiite rebels who in recent weeks have released several statements to denounce the presence of "unmanned drones" fly over their territory according to tribal source.

Since 2004, Yemen the Huthis have fought six wars with the Central Government before the signing of a truce in February 2010.

Today they are embroiled in deadly sectarian confrontations with Salafists who try to tighten their grip on the traditionally Shiite North.

Sunday drone strike was the fourth this month in Yemen.

On 21 October, four Al-Qaeda members, including a local Chief, were killed by a suspected us drone attack on their vehicle in Eastern Yemen Maarib province.

Four days earlier, missiles fired from a drone near year in the southern province of Abyan governorate killed at least seven suspected Al-Qaeda agents.

On 4 October, a strike drone blasted two cars that Al-Qaeda gunmen in the South, killing five of them.

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