Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Somali fighters arrived in Yemen as troops and tribesmen tighten the noose on an Al Qaeda

By Nasser Arrabyee,25/08/2011

About 400 Somali fighters arrived in the coastal town of Shukra in the southern province of Abyan where fierce battles are going on between Al Qaeda operatives and the government troops and loyal tribesmen, said local sources on Thursday.

The Somali fighters are believed to be from the Somali Al Shabab group that previously promised to send fighters to help Al Qaeda in Yemen.

The deputy head of the Somali community in Yemen said it is very difficult for Al Shabab to come to Yemen to fight with Al Qaeda.
But he said it is not impossible.

"I think it is very difficult for armed Somalis to make it to Yemen,as the anti-piracy western forces are almost everywhere in the sea,"said Sadat Mohammed,the deputy head of the Somali community in Yemen.

"but because the Somali refugees flow to Yemen almost every day,so it is possible that a group of Somali fighters have already arrived disguised as refugees," said Mohammed.

Earlier this week, Al Qaeda fighters restored the coastal town of Shukrah after they defeated the tribesmen who were fighting them.

The sources also said that tens of Al Qaeda fighters come almost every day to Abyan to help their brothers, who control almost the whole province,from the northern provinces such as Mareb, Al Jawaf, and Sana'a.

Meanwhile, about 40 Al Qaeda fighters were killed in airstrikes carried out Wednesday on Al Qaeda groups who tried to attack three military brigades positioning in Dawfas area at the outskirts of Al Qaeda-declared Islamic Emirate of Zinjubar.

The brother of the head of Al Qaeda Zinjubar,Jalal Bal Eid, was among those who were killed, the sources said.

About 15 soldiers were killed by Al Qaeda attackers on the brigades before the airstrikes were carried out on Wednesday.

The tribesmen of Abyan are still fighting with the troops despite tens of them were killed by mistaken airstrikes earlier this month by the government, and two suicide bombings which killed about 15 of them earlier this week.

More than 100,000 people displaced from Zinjubar and the areas around it to the neighboring provinces of Aden and Lahj due to the fighting which started after Al Qaeda controlled Zinjubar late last May

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