Yemeni forces launch massive attack on ''suspected militants''
Yemeni forces Wednesday launched missiles and artillery shells at the hideouts of suspected militants blamed for an armed assault on an army medical convoy in the south of the country earlier this week, witnesses said, according to Reuters.
On Tuesday, Yemen detained four armed men during a massive siege of the hideouts.
“There are still about 80 extremists surrounded in an area of a 3 km radius,” a police source told news agencies, adding that security authorities expected them to surrender when food and water supplies run out.
Hundreds of Yemeni troops backed by tanks and helicopters launched Monday the operation in the remote mountainous Sarar area in the southern Abyan province to capture the suspects. On Saturday, seven people were injured in an armed attack against a medical military caravan in Abyan.
A statement issued by the local council in Sarar district said that an "armed extremist group" attacked with artilleries and rocket propelled grenades a medical military caravan distributing medicine in the area, injuring seven people consisting of a doctor, five of his assistants and the car driver. Attackers are believed to be remnants of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army (AAIA).
Yemeni sources said AAIA are slowly reorganizing themselves and are currently operating in Abyan. The sources claimed that AAIA do have a camp at the Huttab mountainous area. The Army was weakened after the execution of its leader Abu al-Hasan al-Mihdar. The government executed al-Mihdar in 1999 after trial of kidnapping some Western tourists in December 1998, Yemen Times reoprted.
On Wednesday, a Yemeni daily wrote that "Cleaning up extremism and terrorism is the responsibility of all political parties in the country as terror is considered to be a real threat against development."
"There should be specific mechanisms to root terrorism." "It is not the responsibility of one party but it is a common worry that all should work hard to come out of it," the 14 October daily noted. (Albawaba.com)