Written By: Nasser Arrabyee
Article Date: Sep 4, 2012 - 12:09:23 AM
The US drone attacks would turn Yemen to another Waziristan, said a group of Yemeni clerics after one of their own, Salem Ahmed Ali Jaber, was killed by a drone attack that targeted al-Qaeda operatives in the eastern part of the country.
The group, calling themselves the union of the southern clerics, said in a statement sent to media on Friday that “the drone attacks are violating Yemen’s sovereignty and are a flagrant example of 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 Hadhramout, according to the state media.
The local residents believe that all the air attacks are implemented by US drones and not by Yemeni fighter jets and their evidence on that is the accuracy of the attacks.
The clerics said in their statement that a cleric from among 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, Salem Ahmed Ali Jaber, was also a teacher and mosque speaker in al-Kutn. Jaber preaches the Salafi school of Islam, and studied in the main Salafi center of Sa’ada, and was always noted speaking against al-Qaeda. In his recent sermons he said al-Qaeda is against Islam.
According to local sources al-Qaeda sent four operatives to the cleric Jaber on Wednesday to condemn 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 Hadhramout.
The Yemeni army in cooperation with the American drones intensified the attacks on al-Qaeda operatives who tried to regroup themselves in new places after they were driven out from Zinjubar, 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 trains its fighters. Meanwhile the ministry of interior released a warning on Friday to check points in Abyan and Shabwah against possible attacks from al-Qaeda.
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