Yemen says Qaeda plot foiled, six arrested

ADEN, Yemen — Yemen has thwarted an Al-Qaeda plot to attack vital installations in the main southern city of Aden, arresting six suspects, Saba state news agency reported Monday.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 27 Jun 2011, 10:15 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:34 AM

“The armed forces yesterday (Sunday) foiled a plan by members linked to Al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks targetting vital and economic installations in Aden,” Saba quoted a military official as saying.

“Six of the most dangerous members of the network specialised in the manufacture of explosives” were arrested at Al-Alam army checkpoint, about three kilometres (two miles) northeast of Aden, said the official.

“Detonators and communications equipment were seized,” he added.

Fear has mounted of a spillover by armed extremists to the strategic port city of Aden from nearby Zinjibar, where battles have raged between alleged Al-Qaeda militants and government troops.

Armed militants calling themselves “Partisans of Sharia” (Islamic law) seized control of most of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, on May 29.

The air force launched raids against administration and military sites that are in the hands of Islamist insurgents, a military source said Sunday, adding there were “casualties in the ranks of the enemy.”

At least 100 soldiers have been killed since the violence erupted in Zinjibar more than three weeks ago, and 260 have been wounded, a military source said this month.

Officials say the militants are connected to Al-Qaeda.

But opponents of the country’s embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh — currently hospitalised in Saudi Arabia — accuse his government of exaggerating a jihadist threat to ease Western pressure on his 33-year rule.

Yemen is the home of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of the global network accused of anti-US plots, including an attempt to blow up a US-bound aircraft on Christmas Day 2009.

Saleh, a key US ally in the fight against AQAP, was wounded in a bomb blast at his palace mosque earlier this month and remains hospitalised in Saudi Arabia.

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