Yemen Security Forces Raid Al Qaeda Hideout.

by Daniel Russ on December 30, 2009

Yemeni al-Qaeda militant Saeed Sankar Shouts Alogans As He Is Escorted From A State Security Court in Sanaa

“SAN’A, Yemen — Yemeni security forces stormed an al-Qaida hide-out Wednesday in a principle militant stronghold in the country’s west, setting off clashes, officials said, as a security chief vowed to fight the group’s powerful local branch until it was eliminated.

A government statement said at least one suspected al-Qaida member was arrested during the fighting in Hudaydah province. The province, along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, was home to most of the assailants in a bombing and shooting attack outside the U.S. Embassy in 2008 that killed 10 Yemeni guards and four civilians.

“The (Interior) Ministry will continue tracking down al-Qaida terrorists and will continue its strikes against the group until it is totally eliminated,” said Deputy Interior Minister Brig. Gen. Saleh al-Zawari.

He was speaking to senior military officials at a meeting in Mareb, one of three provinces where al-Qaida militants are believed to have taken shelter.

The group’s growing presence in Yemen, an impoverished and lawless country on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, has drawn attention with the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner on Friday. U.S. investigators say the Nigerian suspect in the attack told them that he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula set up its Yemen base in January when operatives from Saudi Arabia and Yemen merged.

A security official who gave more details on Wednesday’s raid said it resulted from a tip and targeted a home five miles (eight kilometers) north of the Bajil district. He said one suspected al-Qaida member was injured and several who fled were being pursued.

The owner of the home, a sympathizer of the group, was arrested, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.”

Source: AP

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