Governor: Troops Kill Yemen Al-Qaeda Figures

Yemeni security forces have killed a prominent al-Qaeda in the province of Shabwa in intensive operations against the group, which allegedly was behind a failed bombing attempt in the U.S., an official said Wednesday.

"Abdullah Mehdar killed overnight by security forces who had surrounded the house where he was," said the provincial governor was Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi told reporters.

Mehdar was the leader of al-Qaeda network in the area of al-Houta, Shabwa province, 600 kilometers east of the capital of Yemen, Sana `a.

Security forces hunt for remnants of the network members, said al-Ahmadi.

Al-Qaeda branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for a failed attack on Christmas Day against one U.S. aircraft. United States accuses the group suspects the perpetrators train, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Al-Ahmadi said Tuesday, security forces arrested four suspected members of al-Qaeda, two of them were injured in the firefight.

A tribal source said 18 suspects in the same area had escaped from the police attack and fled to a nearby mountain firefight.

The government of Yemen has sent military balantuan during recent weeks to several provinces in eastern Yemen when the country was increasing its war against al-Qaeda members.

Separately, two police personnel were killed and four more injured in an ambush by some unidentified men armed in the An-Nuqbah, in Shabwa, said al-Ahmadi.

Governor is on Sunday announced a dozen al-Qaeda fighters, including the citizens of Saudi Arabia and Egypt who have left Afghanistan, now hiding in Shabwa.

Among them, he added, was the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Nasser al-Wahishi, his deputy Ali Saeed al-Shehri and hardline religious leaders US-Yemen Anwar al-Awlaqi.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi, Tuesday, re-submit an offer for talks with al-Qaeda followers as long as they put down their weapons, but he warned that the government would pursue them if they dismissed the offer.

Yemen insisted the country can win the war against the guerrillas without military intervention of the U.S., but many commentators worried that Yemen can not cope alone guerrillas.

Yemen faces pressure to control the hard-line followers of the group, and the United States and United Kingdom have announced plans to fund the Counter-Terror Unit in Yemen.

But U.S. President Barack Obama has said he had "no desire" to send American troops to Yemen, or neighbor, Somalia.

Yemeni religious figures leaning hard, Abdulmajeed az-Zendani, which was branded by the United States as "global terrorists", Monday, warned that any military intervention in Yemen, U.S. to fight al-Qaeda would be seen as occupation.


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