Friday, January 28, 2011

South Yemen official again escapes 'Qaeda' ambush

Observed by: Mr. Alaa Isam

The children of a senior Yemeni official were wounded when suspected Al-Qaedamilitants ambushed his car in the southern province of Abyan, a security official told AFP on Friday.

"Gunmen, whom I think belong to Al-Qaeda, attacked the car of Ahmed Ghaleb Rahawi," sub-prefect of the town of Jaar and the third-ranking official in the restive province of Abyan, who was not in the vehicle at the time.

The gunmen opened fire on the car, "wounding his son Ghaleb and his eldest daughter Amani," said the official.

A medic said Amani was seriously wounded in the attack which took place late on Thursday.

Rahawi has escaped several similar assassination bids, the last of which took place on December 28 when gunmen he said belonged to Al-Qaeda also opened fire on his car in Jaar.

Later on Thursday, Al-Qaeda militants fired shots into the air to celebrate the release of two members in Moudia, another town in Al-Qaeda stronghold Abyan, witnesses said.

The group deployed dozens of heavily armed militants to receive Nader Mohammed Salem al-Jaru and Ali Ahmed Shaher, who were arrested in October and jailed in Al-Bayda province, near Abyan, the witnesses said.

The militants chanted "God is greatest" and "death to infidelity."

A police official said gunmen attacked the central security headquarters, and security forces "strongly" responded, but no casualties were reported.

Faced with a campaign by a secessionist movement as well as attacks by Al-Qaeda in the south, the Sanaa government has been struggling to maintain its authority in southern Yemen.


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