Al-Qaida claims killing over 50 soldiers in southern Yemen

18:43, September 08, 2010      

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The Yemen-based al-Qaida claimed on Tuesday responsibility for killing a senior security official in Marib province, as well as over 50 soldiers in battles erupted late last month in the southern province of Abyan, according to statements issued on jihadist forums.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said it was behind the assassination of Colonel Mohammed Faree, deputy director of the criminal investigation unit in Marib, on Aug. 27.

"The assassination came after al-Qaida's Mujahideen security service made sure that Colonel Faree involved in spying against al- Qaida members in Marib province," the statement said.

Al-Qaida also said that it had killed over 50 security soldiers in battles that erupted late last month in Lodar city.

The statements also denied the Yemeni government's reports on arresting 14 members of al-Qaida fighters in security sweep in Lodar, as well as the reports that the government troops have taken control of Lodar city.

"We affirmed that the government's reports on taking control over Lodar was lies; Lodar has been at the hand of Mujahideen till today and there is no any member of al-Qaida being arrested or killed by the government's forces," the statements said, adding that "only one al-Qaida fighter was slightly injured during the battles."

Abyan and Marib provinces are thought to be a stronghold of al- Qaida forces in the Arabian Peninsula, which have witnessed a series of deadly battles between al-Qaida fighters and the security forces.

On Aug. 20, deadly battles erupted in Lodar city and lasted for more than a week after al-Qaida fighters killed 11 soldiers in an ambush in the city.

Yemeni Interior Ministry said Sunday that the security authority had arrested at least 14 al-Qaida members in Lodar city after the terrorists were totally defeated by the security forces in the week-long fighting.

The ministry said that security sweeps against al-Qaida suspects would be continued around the clock.

The U.S.-backed Yemeni government has intensified security operations and air raids against terrorist groups after the Yemen- based al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a botched attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit last December.

Source: Xinhua


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