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Three Yemeni soldiers wounded in clashes with al-Qaeda affiliates in Mareb
A local source in Mareb Province affirmed last Monday that the security forces have arrested a number of suspects accused of attacking a military convoy in Mareb. However, the source declined to mention the number of those arrested so as to protect the investigation process, until arrests have been made of those still at large.
The source said that those arrested are accused of attacking a military vehicle, killing one soldier, and wounding three others.
According to a statement published by the 26th of September website, the Governor of Mareb Naji al-Zaidi said that the security forces were tracking down 18 al-Qaeda affiliates led by al-Qaeda Leader Aidh al-Shabwani, Ali Saeed Jameel, and Naser Bin Dawhah.
Last Friday al-Zaidi said that no soldiers were killed in the clashes that erupted last Friday between military personnel and members of al-Qaeda who attacked a military vehicle in the area of al-Sahbwan in Mareb Province.
Al-Zaidi denied what some media outlets reported on Friday about the deaths of three soldiers in clashes with al-Qaeda, saying that in reality, three soldiers were wounded and no one was killed. He refused to confirm the death of Aidh al-Shabwani.
"There are some losses that have not yet been specified, but the hunt for those wanted will continue. We cannot reveal any information until the operation is over.” the Governor said.
Security sources in Mareb said a security campaign is underway and that anti-terrorism forces are still surrounding the area where the wanted individuals are stationed.
Other news sources reported that three soldiers were killed in confrontations with armed al-Qaeda operatives, that al-Shwabani was killed in the clashes, and that four more soldiers were wounded.
The confrontations erupted last Friday in Mareb when al-Qaeda armed elements ambushed and attacked a military vehicle.
However, Imam Anwar al-Awlaki announced an al-Qaeda victory against the Yemeni government troops and stated that mujahideen killed three soldiers, took three others prisoners, and destroyed five tanks and two armored vehicles.
In a statement published by the counter terrorism blog and by the NEFA Foundation, written by Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al-Qaeda-linked U.S. citizen, he celebrated the "humiliating defeat" suffered by the Yemeni government in recent clashes with mujahideen.
Al-Awlaki said, "The first face to face fight between the army and the mujahideen ended in a resounding victory for the mujahideen. May Allah bless them with further victories. The army pulled out after asking for a truce with the mujahideen. May this be the beginning of the greatest jihad, the jihad of the Arabian Peninsula that would free the heart of the Islamic world from the tyrants who are deceiving the ummah and standing between us and victory.”
“The fight began between a military convoy and one of the mujahideen in the area of Mareb.
The convoy was made up of tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, and foot soldiers. When the confrontation began with the mujahid brother the mujahideen in the surrounding areas poured in and surrounded the army. The army used artillery to bomb the houses of the brothers, but the shells fell on houses of members of the local tribe who are against the mujahideen. The fight started at noon on July 30th and ended at sunset.
“The result of the battle was five destroyed tanks, two armored vehicles, at least 3 soldiers killed, and five soldiers taken prisoner. The brothers also took over an entire truckload of weapons in addition to other pieces of equipment left behind by the fleeing soldiers. Casualties amongst the ranks of the mujahidin: None. None killed, none injured, and no damage to their houses or property,” al-Awlaki said in his statement.