BY NY Staff
This past week, Yemeni authorities launched a broad security campaign to investigate a number of districts where Al-Qaeda-linked suspects are thought to be residing. The campaign coincides with tightened security and an increased military presence on Sana’a’s borders resulting from the targeting of military figures by gunmen.
Fadhl Abdulmajeed Al-Radfani, advisor to the Defense Minister, was killed last week near the Ministry of Defense by gunmen. The incident came less than an hour after a failed assassination attempt against a Republican Guard official. The official was, however badly injured and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Authorities have arrested a number of individuals suspected of involvement in Al-Radfani’s death.
Meanwhile, tribal sources have stated that ten tribesmen and ten soldiers were killed in armed conflicts between the Yemeni army and armed tribesmen in Marib.
“The battles erupted after an army campaign was launched against gunmen accused of blowing up oil pipelines,” said a tribal source.
According to him, while the Yemeni army has used heavy weapons and airstrikes, the tribesmen have fought using light weapons and RPGs.
According to another tribal source, the campaign has targeted Saleh Bin-Hussien Damage, whose men are believed to have attacked the oil pipeline which travels through their land a number of times.
“Damage does this while demanding that the government provide him with YR 100 million in compensation for land which was taken from him,” said the source.
In a related matter, a security source has stated that armed confrontations took place in Marib’s Habab district when armed men stopped technical teams and prevented them from fixing oil pipelines. The action reportedly resulted in the deaths of seven tribesmen and three soldiers.
Military and security sources have also stated that military operations have targeted a group of Al-Qaeda-linked militants, two of whom escaped from prison in June of 2011.