Sunday, June 20, 2010
Gunmen set free Al-Qaeda suspects with attack on Aden security headquarters that kills 11
At least 11 were killed and 12 wounded Saturday morning in Aden, South Yemen, as unidentified gunmen attacked the Political Security office. Most of the dead people were soldiers. The initial fingerprint of the operation is pointing to the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), security sources said.
About five gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed the security building in the At-Tawahi area near the port, and opene fire with automatc weapens and rocket propelled grenades.
During the attack, an unknown number of prisoners suspected of being members of Al-Qaeda were set free by the operators, security source affirmed. Although, the clash lasted for nearly half an hour, all the assailants together with the released prisoners escaped successfully.Three women including the secretary of the director of the Political Security, were among the dead persons.
The attack came amid a flag ceremony at the Political Security Organisation (PSO) headquarters, one security official told Reuters news agency, which was one of the reasons why so many were killed and wounded.
The attack came a day after The al-Qaeda network on Friday urged tribal leaders in Yemen not to turn over its fighters – also known as the ‘mujahidin’ – to the government, according to a statement published on Islamist websites.
The statement accused the government of killing ‘innocent people as well as children and women, under the pretext that some members of these tribes are wanted,’ referring to the death of the deputy governor of Yemen’s Marib province last month. Jabir al-Shabwani and five of his companions were killed when his car was hit by a missile in an airstrike that was targeting al-Qaeda member Mohammed Saeed bin Jaradan in Marib, 190 kilometres north-east of Sana’a. The statement urged the Abida tribe, to which al-Shabwani belonged, not to support ‘the US agent Ali Abdullah Saleh’ (th Yemeni pesident).
‘Who kills your women and children? Are they the mujahidin or Ali Abdullah Saleh?’ said the statement.
The Yemeni government has urged the handover of al-Qaeda fighters and threatened punishments for those who harbour the militants. Homes of al-Qaeda sympathisers have regularly been destroyed in recent times.