Written By: Nasser Arrabyee
Article Date: Sep 3, 2012 - 6:51:24 PM
At least 10 people were killed and injured in clashes between Al Qaeda fighters and tribesmen from the anti-Al Qaeda popular committees in the area of Khanfar, at the outskirts of Jaar of the southern province of Abyan, local sources said on Sunday.
The clashes happened after the tribesmen loyal to the government arrested two Al Qaeda operatives in Jaar on Saturday, the sources said.
Saleh Al Shatar, Emir of Al Qaeda in Khanfar, and Mukhtar Ahmed were arrested in Jaar.
To this regard, Khaled Musalam Batis, one of Al Qaeda leaders, was killed by a US drone attack last Friday in the area of Hawrah in Al Kutn district of the eastern province of Hudhrmout, according to an official statement published on Sunday.
Khaled was killed with eight other operatives while driving their cars in Hawrah area. He is the brother of Salah Musalam Batis, a leading member of the Islamist party, Islah, in Hudhrmout. The family of Batis recognized their son from among the deadbodies that were under the wreckage of the car that was hit by a US drone last Friday.
Anti-Al Qaeda cleric killed in drone attacks that killed 12 terrorists, and clerics say " aggression and violation of sovereignty"
The US drone attacks would turn Yemen to another Wazir Stan, said a group of Yemeni clerics after one of them was killed by a drone attack that targeted Al Qaeda operatives in the eastern part of the country.
The group, calling themselves union of the southern clerics, said in a statement sent to media on Friday that " the drone attacks are violating the sovereignty and flagrant aggression".
A total of 8 Al Qaeda operatives were killed when an airstrike hit two cars in the area of Al Khashaa, 40 km west of Al Kutn in the eastern province of Hudhrmout, according to the government-run media on Friday.
The local residents believe that all the air attacks are implemented by US drones not by Yemeni fighter jets and their evidence on that is the accuracy of the attacks.
The clerics ,in their statement, said a clerics of them was killed in one of the recent attacks when a US drone attacked and killed four Al Qaeda operatives who were in a meeting with the cleric.
The cleric is called Salem Ahmed Ali Jaber, teacher and mosque speaker, in Al Kutn. Jaber is Salafi who studied in the main Salafi center of Saada. And he was always speaking against Al Qaeda. In his recent sermons he said Al Qaeda is against Islam.
According to local sources Al Qaeda sent on Wednesday four operatives to the cleric Jaber to blame him and while the five people were in the meeting a US drone came and killed them all in the area of Al Khshamer in Al Kutn of the eastern province of Hudhrmout.
The Yemeni army in cooperation with the American drones intensified the attacks on Al Qaeda operatives who try to regroup themselves in new places after they were driven out from Zinjubar and Jaar and Azzan last june.
Sources said that Yemeni troops are being re-deployed in areas close to mountains of Marakish of Abyan in a clear preparation for attacking and controlling the newly established stronghold of Al Mahfad where Al Qaeda train their fighters.
Meanwhile the ministry of interior released Friday a warning to check points in Abyan and Shabwah against possible attacks from Al Qaeda side.
• Offensive against militants drives US drone campaign, tribes claim
• Family to hand over militants should drone campaign cease
• Government says Al Qaeda deputy amir dead, experts skeptical