Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Nov 22, 2012 - 8:25:18 PM
A soldier from the central security was killed by a militant riding a motorcycle on Sunday in Sana’a.
A statement issued by the ministry of interior said that a soldier from the central security forces, named as Khaldoun Malik was shot by a militant riding a motorcycle in Sana’a on Sunday.
Several security officers were assassinated by militants riding motorcycles in the past few months. The government accused al-Qaeda of being behind the assassination attacks.
Yemeni authorities announced unprecedented measures to limit the spread of motorcycles after bikers were linked to political, military and security leaders’ assassinations. Moreover motorcycles are being used by al-Qaeda members as a means of transportation that is difficult to be chased by security services.
The Yemeni Interior Ministry said on Thursday that it has directed banning motorcycles with unregistered plates in all Yemeni governorates, and seize vehicles violating Yemen’s traffic law.
In an online statement, the ministry confirmed the need to organize daily security and traffic campaigns to arrest the violators. The ministry called upon the unregistered motorcyclists to regularize their status at the General Directorate of Traffic to avoid being subjected to legal procedures, stressing that motorcycles’ numbers can be found in all traffic departments. Thousands of unemployed youth hire motorcycles to transport citizens in all Yemen cities. Most of the motorcycles do not have plate numbers as they were smuggled to the country during the 2011 uprising.
Since the beginning of Yemen’s crisis in 2011, the use of motorcycles spread remarkably in an unprecedented way. It also contributed to the increase of traffic victims and accidents; statistics revealed that traffic incidents killed more than 200 people and injured about 1150 others since the start of 2012, due to accidents caused by motorcyclists.
According to security sources, the estimates suggest that the number of motorcycles used as means of transportation within the country has risen from about 100 thousand motorcycles in 2010 to more than 250,000 in the first 9 months of 2012.
Furthermore, Yemen-based “Jihadist al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” recently issued a statement warning its leaders and members in the Yemeni provinces, especially in Hadramout, Abyan and Shabwa, and asked them to take extreme safety measures when traveling, with the increase of U.S. drones unleashed against the organization’s leaders and members. The statement called for using motorcycles as a transportation method because of their recurrent use due to the ease of driving without being monitored or arrested.
al-Qaeda’s statement stressed on members avoiding car travel, unless in urgent cases, and under hazy weather conditions as the likelihood of members being targeted is reduced.
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