Last updated: 20 June, 2012

Yemen foils plot against embassies in Sanaa

Yemeni security forces have foiled a militant plot to attack embassies in Sanaa, state news agency SABA reported on Wednesday, just days after the army forced Al-Qaeda out of bastions in the south.

“Security forces have managed to foil a terror plot targeting foreign embassies in the capital,” SABA said, citing a top security official.

The official said “three suspects armed with weapons, explosives and maps showing the location of foreign embassies” were detained.

He said the residences of “military commanders and other important people” were also marked on the maps.

In military strikes in southern Yemen, three suspected militants were killed and four wounded in an air raid targeting a group of Al-Qaeda fighters in a desert region between Abyan and Shabwa provinces, a tribal chief said.

And security officials said a local Qaeda leader in Bayda province, “dangerous terrorist” Salah al-Jawhari, was killed in a military operation along with two suicide bombers who had been planning attacks on local figures.

The reports came two days after a suicide bomber killed Salem Ali Qoton, the general who spearheaded a month-long offensive against Al-Qaeda in Yemen’s Abyan and Shabwa provinces in the south.

The offensive, launched on May 12, ended more than a year of Al-Qaeda control in a string of towns and villages in the troubled south and east.

The jihadists are believed to have fled to the lawless mountainous regions of the eastern Hadramawt province.

Also on Wednesday, security forces said they arrested Majed al-Qulaisi, “a member of the (Al-Qaeda) cell that planned” the deadly suicide attack that killed more than 100 troops at a military parade rehearsal in Sanaa last month.

A Tunisian, “one of Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous foreign nationals in Yemen,” Nizar Abdel Rahman, was also arrested, SABA reported.

After taking office in February, President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has pledged to destroy Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the network’s local branch, which is considered by Washington as the group’s most active and deadly.