Last updated: 8 November, 2011

Five Qaeda suspects killed in south Yemen

Five Al-Qaeda suspects, among them an Indonesian, were killed in artillery shelling on their strongholds in Yemen’s south, a government official said Tuesday.

“Two Al-Qaeda gunmen were killed in artillery shelling by the army in Zinjibar,” the official in the nearby town of Jaar, where their bodies were taken, told AFP.

The official identified one of the men as an Indonesian, while he said that the other was a Yemeni.

Three others were killed in shelling overnight by the 25th Mechanised Brigade, based in the restive southern city of Zinjibar, he said.

Meanwhile, Rumeila, north of Jaar, which itself is an Al-Qaeda stronghold, was also targeted Tuesday by “five US drone strikes,” the same official said, adding no information was yet available on casualties.

Yemen’s army, backed by US drones, have been battling militants of the Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) group who have held the Abyan provincial capital since May.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has taken advantage of nearly 10 months of sweeping unrest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bolster its presence in the restive south and east of Yemen, launching repeated attacks.