Tags: Yemen | unrest | Qaeda

Al-Qaida in Deadly Attack on Yemen Presidential Palace

Friday, 09 May 2014 03:56 PM

Suspected Al-Qaida terrorists attacked Yemen's presidential palace Friday, killing five guards and triggering a fierce gunfight as the jihadists hit back at an army offensive aimed at crushing them.

President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi was not at the palace in the capital when gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by guards outside the compound, a security source told AFP.

Hadi, whose government has stepped up a war on the Arabian Peninsula country's al-Qaida offshoot, does not live in the palace and only uses it for meetings during the day.

In addition to the dead, other guards were captured in the unprecedented attack on the checkpoint located just 700 yards from the palace building, the source added.

An exchange of fire lasted for more than 20 minutes, according to other security sources and witnesses, amid reports that at least three of the assailants were killed.

Separately, Defense Minister Mohamed Nasser Ahmad and two senior security officers escaped unharmed when al-Qaida gunmen ambushed their convoy as they returned from a tour of south Yemen, where the army is battling the jihadists.

The ambush came hours after Ahmad vowed to crush al-Qaida fighters in Yemen, saying their end would come soon.

The army launched a major offensive on April 29 against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula strongholds in three provinces, two in the south and one in the center of the country.

Sanaa has been on alert for days, and tensions rose after the army said troops had entered Azzan, a jihadist bastion in southern Shabwa province, prompting the United States to close its Yemen embassy on Thursday.

That night security forces killed al-Qaida commander Shayef Mohammed Said al-Shabwani, one of the network's most wanted leaders suspected of masterminding the abduction of Western diplomats.

Shabwani died in an gunfight near the presidential palace after resisting arrest at a checkpoint. Another suspect was killed and three more were arrested, a source said.

Authorities say al-Qaida commanders were among dozens of jihadists killed since the army launched its offensive in the south, where U.S. drone strikes this year have killed scores.

 

 

State media also said Friday that security forces had killed four foreign al-Qaida fighters, including two French citizens of Tunisian origin.

Earlier, a bomb on a bus wounded 11 policemen in an eastern district of the capital where the British and Qatari embassies are located. On Thursday after assailants opened fire on guards outside the Saudi diplomatic mission.

 

© AFP 2017

   
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MiddleEast
Suspected Al-Qaida terrorists attacked Yemen's presidential palace Friday, killing five guards and triggering a fierce gunfight as the jihadists hit back at an army offensive aimed at crushing them.
Yemen, unrest, Qaeda
402
2014-56-09
Friday, 09 May 2014 03:56 PM
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