Yemen government says al-Qaida kills 37 officials, al-Qaida admits more killing

12:41, June 14, 2010      

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Yemen's government said Sunday that al-Qaida group has killed 37 senior army and security officials during the past three years, state media reported.

The country's ruling party website,, quoted unidentified Interior Ministry's spokesman as saying that "37 senior army and security officials have been killed by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) during the past three years."

"The 37 officials were among an al-Qaida's 40-name list who were sought to be killed," said the spokesman, adding that the 37 officials were ambushed by different "Qaida's means", such as explosive belts or opening fire with heavy weapons.

He said the 37 officials were killed in different provinces of Yemen, including Marib and Shabwa, as well as in regions bordering Saudi Arabia."

Moreover, a source close to AQAP told Xinhua that the number of senior army and security officials who were killed in the past three years is much more than 37.

"The real number is much more than 37 that announced by the Yemeni government, al-Qaida set a plan to break the government's army and security arms," he said on condition of anonymity.

"The process is going on to weaken the government's capacity of control," said the source who declined to provide more details.

Meanwhile, a former intelligence official was killed late Saturday in southern troubled province of Abyan, according to security source at the Interior Ministry in Sanaa, the capital.

"Jalal Uthman, a former intelligence director of the southern province of Abyan was shot dead by unknown gunmen while he was leaving a mosque after finishing his prayers," said the ministry's source.

"Seven bullets hit his body, that left him immediately dead," he said, adding that the investigation is underway to discover the perpetrators.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida network leader Osama bin Laden, has intensified security operations and air raids against terrorist groups, after the Yemen-based al-Qaida wing claimed responsibility for a botched Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit last year.



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