President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi promised on Wednesday to eradicate terrorism in Yemen, plagued by Al-Qaeda and by homegrown unrest, as yet another member of the security forces was killed.
“The blood (of victims) will not be in vain,” Hadi said in a televised speech to mark the anniversary of the 1962 revolution that established a republic in Sanaa.
“The terrorists and those who support them, among local or foreign forces, will end up paying dearly and will be brought to justice.
“Our people remain vigilant in the face of those crimes and will soon inflict defeat on them,” he added, referring to spectacular dawn attacks on three police and army positions in Shabwa province last week that claimed the lives of at least 56 security personnel.
Hadi, who is himself a southerner, also defended the vision of a united Yemen, as militants in the formerly independent south press for autonomy or even outright secession.
“The problem has never been one of unification, but of erroneous practices marked by corruption and bad administration,” he said, in allusion to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, forced to step down in 2011 after 33 years in power.
Reconciliation talks, known as the national dialogue, are underway to complete the transition that began with Saleh’s departure. They are aimed at drafting a new constitution and laying the groundwork for elections next year.
Hadi said “we are putting the final touches” on the documents, which have managed to find “radical solutions to the problems of Yemen.”
Earlier Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed an army intelligence officer when he blew up his explosive-laden car in a market in Ataq, capital of Shabwa province, a security official said.
The blast killed Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed al-Saidi and seriously wounded a passer-by, the official said.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants remain active in Shabwa and adjacent provinces despite an army offensive last year in which troops retook a number of towns.
Last Friday’s attacks produced the deadliest day for the army since a suicide bombing in Sanaa on May 21, 2012 in which some 100 soldiers were killed.