Air strike on al-Qaeda by Yemeni forces


Yemeni military aircraft yesterday struck at al-Qaeda insurgents suspected of carrying out an ambush in which 17 army officers and soldiers were killed, said tribal sources.

The ambush, which occurred on Saturday while an army patrol inspected a pipeline in Wadi Obaida area of oil-producing Maarib province, was one of the deadliest al-Qaeda attacks in recent months.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi attended the funeral ceremony yesterday for the dead servicemen, who included Maj-Gen Nasser Mahdi Farid, chief of staff for Yemen’s central military region, said state news agency Saba. Government warplanes bombed the gunmen suspected of being behind the attack, said tribal sources. The air strikes started on Sunday and killed four, but it was not clear if the victims were al-Qaeda fighters.

Repairs have begun on the Maarib pipeline and power lines last week after the government reached a deal with tribesmen to stop attacking infrastructure.

Yemen has struggled to restore normality since Mr Hadi took office in February following a year of protests that forced Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years in power. – (Reuters)