Thursday, 29 July 2010

Al-Qaida wing claims to form 12,000-strong army in southern Yemen

Source: Xinhua 30/07/2010

SANAA-The Yemen-based al-Qaida regional wing claimed on Thursday it was preparing to form an army of 12,000 fighters in the country's south in order to fight Yemeni security and intelligence agents there.

In an audio recording posted on a forum on the Internet on Thursday, Mohamed Saied al-Omda, field commander of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, said "We have a good news for the Islamic nation, that an army of 12,000 fighters is being prepared in Aden and Abyan."

"By this army, we will establish an Islamic Caliphate," Saied al-Omda, also known as Gharib al-Taizy, said, referring to Yemen's southern restive province of Abyan and the port city Aden.

"This is a message to the Yemeni government security and the National security Service: our swords are ready and we are resolved to cleanse the land," he threatened as he recalled the latest numerous deadly attacks by al-Qaida against Yemeni security facilities.

The resurgent al-Qaida regional arm in the Arabian Peninsula is blamed for at least five deadly attacks against highly-guarded Western and local targets since last month.

In the audio message, the al-Qaida commander also accused the Yemeni government of "allying with the U.S.-led crusader military campaign," saying "(the campaign) killed innocent Muslims and destroyed homes and mosques in the provinces of Abyan and Marib under the approval of the Yemeni government."

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