Last updated: 1 August, 2012

Al-Qaeda attack kills five in south Yemen

Four Yemeni soldiers and a civilian were killed in an attack on Wednesday by Al-Qaeda militants on a police station in the southern town of Jaar, a local official said.

“Members of Al-Qaeda attacked the station with automatic weapons and hurled a grenade, killing two soldiers and a civilian,” said the official.

Two other soldiers died of wounds, the same official said later, adding that another soldier was wounded.

The defence ministry news website said that more than “20 terrorists” from the Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia attacked the post.

Abdulaif Sayed, the chief of the local Popular Resistance Committees which fights the Islamists alongside the army, voiced fears of a return of Al-Qaeda militants to the town.

In addition to Jaar, Al-Qaeda gunmen also controlled Abyan’s provincial capital of Zinjibar, which they overran in May last year before being driven out in a mid-June all-out offensive by the army.

But militants remain in nearby mountains, Sayed said, complaining of an absence of security forces in the province.

Locals also expressed fears of a return of the militants.

“Al-Qaeda has disappeared, but life is not really back to normal,” said Zinjibar resident Salama Ahmed.

“The state is absent and there is no water, nor electricity,” he said.