One civilian killed by US drone strike in Shabwa

Published on 2 April 2012 in News
Mohamed Abdalalim (author)

Mohamed Abdalalim

The US drone strike fired two missiles at Hyndai vehicle thought to belong to militants of Al-Qaeda. Once civilian was killed and six others were injured.

The US drone strike fired two missiles at Hyndai vehicle thought to belong to militants of Al-Qaeda. Once civilian was killed and six others were injured.

SHABWA, April 1 — One Yemeni civilian was killed and six others were injured in a US drone strike at 4pm on Friday in Azzan of Shabwa governorate, east Yemen, eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times.

The drone fired two missiles at a Hyundai vehicle thought to belong to militants with connections with Al-Qaeda. Locals who hurried to the scene of incident found the torn bodies of seven people scattered over the road.

Saleh Ali Ba Zyad, Saleh Abdulfatha Hamid, Abdullah Mohamed Hamid,  Hamza Khaled Ba Zayad, Ali Hassan and another unidentified man were wounded during the strike after shrapnel showered the neighboring area.

Mohamed Saleh Al-Suna, 55 from Al-Hawta city in Shabwa died from injuries sustained from shrapnel in the strike.

Local security sources said that the strike attempted to target the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Naser Al-Wahishi.

Pakistani officials have previously said that Al-Wahishi was killed on Dec. 28 2010 when two American missiles were fired at a militant camp in North Waziristan in Pakistan. Al-Wahishi has also previously been reported killed by a drone strike in an area of Shabwa, Yemen.

Al-Qaeda has not confirmed the reported death of Al-Wahishi, and still publishes his articles and statements in their Sada Al-Malehim Magazine.

At 10:00 pm on Friday armed men from the group Ansar Al-Shariah blew up Yemen’s liquefied natural gas pipeline in revenge for the US drone strike. The group took control of Azzan city in June 2011 and last week seized the Al-Rudum district in the governorate.

The sabotage has suspended gas production and export, according to the Yemen LNG Company.

“Yemen LNG confirms the sabotage of the 38 inch gas pipeline that links block 18 to the Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden,” reads the statement posted on website of the company.

“The explosion occurred at 22:00 on 30 March 2012 in a desert zone 40km North of the Balhaf Liquefaction Plant. It caused no victims,” the company explained.

It added that production was suspended, “but the loss of production is expected to be limited to four cargoes as the LNG Plant was due to shutdown on April 15 for annual maintenance.”

The French Total Company owns 40 percent of Yemen’s LNG, followed by Hunt Oil and the Yemen Gas Company each owning 17 percent, the South Korean Company owning 10 percent, six percent for Korea Gas Corporation, about six percent for Hyundai Corporation and five percent for the General Authority for Social Insurance and Pensions.

A security officer in Abyan said in earlier statement to the Yemen Times that drone strikes often result in human causalities and panic local communities.

“We can arrest Al-Qaeda affiliated persons without committing crimes against civilians,” the security officer assistant said.

US airstrikes in Yemen date back to Nov. 4th 2002, when they targeted Abu Ali Al-Harethi, a Yemeni jihadist accused of plotting the bombing of the destroyer USS Cole on Oct. 12, 2000.

A similar air-raid killed over 42 civilians including women and children on Dec. 17, 2009 in the village of Al-Ma’jala in Abyan, south Yemen.