Sunday, 29 May 2011

Heavy shelling to restore city from Al Qaeda in south Yemen

By Nasser Arrabyee/29/05/2011

The Yemeni troops are shelling the city of Zinjubar, capital of the southern province of Abyan, after about 200 Al Qaeda fighters occupied it, local resident said Sunday.

Masked gun men, believed be to Al Qaeda members, are seen everywhere in the streets of the city, after they plundered three banks and occupied all the government offices and security headquarters, the residents said.

The troops of the 125 Mica brigade shell the city randomly the city in a bid to force Al Qaeda fighters to surrender. Thousands of civilians are fleeing the bombardments to either to neighboring city of Aden or the close villages, and some of them hide in the mosques.

The local residents appealed to the right groups to help and pressure for stopping the random bombardments.

“Why all this bombardments on the houses and properties of the innocents, why there is no knight to knight battle, why the troops did not come and arrest these men who attacked the city,” said Nasser Al Fadhli, over phone from Zinjubar.

He said mortars are fired randomly causing a lot of damages and casualties.
“The shelling did not stop from early yesterday,” he added.

“We want this crazy bombardments to stop immediately,” Al Fadhli said “and if there is Al Qaeda people , they can be arrested easily”
Dead bodies of security soldiers are seen in the streets, according to eyewitnesses.

The opposition accused the government of colluding with the Al Qaeda to divert the attention from the anti- Saleh protests that sweep the country for four months now.

The former minister of interior, Hussein Arab, accused President Saleh of supporting the “alleged Al Qaeda” with the aim of making a chaos in the southern provinces.

“Those fighters who occupied Zinjubar city pretend they are Al Qaeda, actually they are not Al Qaeda, but they are armed groups working for Saleh,” said the former minister Hussein Arab, who is from the same province of Abyan, and who supports the ongoing anti-Saleh protests.

Earlier on Friday, Al Qaeda militants announced their control on the city of Zinjubar after they clashed and defeated the security, according to local residents.

Using loudspeakers, gunmen on board of a car were roaming in the city of Zinjubar late afternoon Friday saying “ We declare that Zinjubar fell in the hands of Mujahideen after it was liberated from the agents of the Americans.”

Five soldiers at least were killed when about 50 gunmen believed to be Al Qaeda members attacked the city of Zinjubar, the capital of the southern province of Abyan, local residents, and security sources said.

Eyewitnesses from local residents said that the militants were using five cars to move from place to place inside the city freely and without any fear.

The Al Qaeda militants plundered three local banks and occupied three security offices after they gave local residents three-hour ultimatum to leave their houses which were close to those offices.

Earlier in the year, Al Qaeda in the same province of Abyan, declared the town of Ja’ar as an Islamist State after they forced the government security forces to leave the town.

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