Local News

Five Killed, Seven Injured in Abyan Ambushes, Clashes

The spate of clashes and ambushes continued with intense firefights between security forces and alleged Al-Qaeda militants. A further four soldiers were killed, the latest reports indicate at skirmishes which occurred at around 10am on Saturday 16th October.

In addition to the attacks, another ambush which targeted another security director took place yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. The attack was unsuccessful in assassinating the security director of Ahwar directorate, in the east of Abyan governorate, Brigadier Obaid Ali Mubarak.

Confrontations between security forces and Al-Qaeda militants in Abyan governorate took place last Thursday in Mudyah city, 230 kilometers to the northeast of the capital Zanjibar. The clashes resulted in the death of five people, including the brother of the governor of Abyan, in addition to the injury of seven soldiers.

The confrontations between the two sides came after relative calm of more than a month since prior military operations in the governorate.

Ali Al-Maysari, the brother of Abyan governor Ahmed Al-Maysari was killed in an ambush against the governor’s motorcade set up on the high way in Al-Jaizah region, four kilometers away from Mudyah city.

Al-Maysaru was on his way to the directorate to offer his condolences over the death of the director of security, Major Abdullah Al-Bahm, who was killed that morning during his attempt, along with a number of soldiers, to disperse a demonstration that was planned by the southern movement on the anniversary of October 14th (the revolution anniversary).

Upon the motorcade’s arrival to the Al-Jaizah area the governor, along with the security director of the province, Brigadier Abdul-Razzaq Al-Marwani, was taken aback to find a scene of an intense firefight by an armed group, purportedly AQ affiliate militants, sources said.

The shooting came from the top of the mountain parallel to the highway, and the attack lead to the death of governor’s brother, four soldiers and wounded seven others. Two armoured military personnel carriers were destroyed after being targeted by two RPG missiles. The number of deaths and injuries sustained by the attacking militants is unknown.

In a statement issued by the security authorities, after the bloody events of Thursday, two of those who set up the armed ambush were arrested. A ‘track and pursue’ operation for the rest of the group is underway in the mountains between the two directorates of Mudyah and Lawder.

A large number of officials and tribesmen, including the governor, had paid their respects to his brother, Ali Al-Maysari, and laid him to rest in his village Kabran, one kilometer from Mudyah city – the scene of last Thursday and Friday events.

The recent incidents in Abyan have cast a shadow over the province’s preparations for the Gulf 20 events by the end of next November. The incidents also made the security authorities’ credibility questionable, especially after their prior announcement of having eliminated the remnants of the organization in Abyan, following the major confrontations in Lawder during last Ramadan.

The tense atmosphere in Mudyah and the adjacent villages coincides with the announcement of the Interior Ministry dispatching additional troops to hunt down the AQ affiliate groups in the coming hours.