Source: Xinhua , 07/09/2010
SANAA-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday urged religious clerics to take part in fighting al- Qaida's ideology after the terrorist group intensified deadly attacks in east and south of the country, state news agency Saba reported.
In an address at a mosque, President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on religious clerics to play a role in combating al-Qaida's ideology across the country's mosques by counseling local people.
"We released them (al-Qaida militants) from prisons for several times under guarantees after they were subjected to rehabilitation courses and counseling sessions by the government's clerics, but they returned again to disturb public order," Saleh said.
"We will confront them with all of our power, with a back from all of our people across the country. They (terrorists) are harming the nation's development and public order," he added.
Al-Qaida's regional wing in Yemen has reportedly intensified attacks since late last year after the alleged U.S. drone struck suspected terrorist hideouts in provinces of Abyan, Shabwa and Marib, where Sanaa government has a weak control.
On June 7, Amnesty International released some photographs that displayed remnants of alleged U.S. cluster bombs and missiles fired at southern Yemen from alleged U.S. warships in the Gulf of Aden last December.
The watchdog's photographs apparently were taken following an air strike on Dec. 17, 2009, on a suspected al-Qaida training camp in al-Ma'jalah in south Yemen's Abyan province, killing 41 local residents, including 14 women and 21 children.
According to local analysts, some Yemeni powerful armed tribes are believed to shelter al-Qaida militants and fugitives in remote and mountainous regions in south and east of the country.
Sanaa government has come under mounted pressure from Washington and international community to solve its internal conflicts and focus on fighting al-Qaida militants after its Yemeni wing boasted that they were behind a botched attempt to bomb a U.S. passenger jet last December.