Concerns over AQAP role in Abyan
Jamal Hussein, an activist reporter and a resident of Lawdar district, said there are concerns over the outbreak of clashes between Al-Qaeda and the Popular Committee in Lawdar; Ansar Al-Sharia-linked militants attempted to retaliate against the locals in Lawdar who sided with the army fighting against Al-Qaeda in Abyan last month.
Although Al-Qaeda was driven from Abyan and its activities have been limited, the security situation is still volatile.
A security source at the Ministry of Defense told the Yemen Times that Al-Qaeda militants are in Al-Mahfad district in Abyan, and they try to launch extensive attacks on the patrolmen, particularly at night.
The source said that the air force is continuing its surveillance of Abyan in order to pursue Al-Qaeda and storm their locations.
For her part, Ashwaq Sylan, an activist and a resident of Abyan, said that the whistle of bullets has still been heard in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan; however, their sources remain unknown.
On Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency quoted a Yemeni official as stating that a number of Al-Qaeda militants in Ja'ar changed to be latent cells who distribute slogans regarding the so-called the Islamic nation. They encourage people to disobey and fight against the government in many places in Ja'ar, which suggests that the region may be under threat of reclamation by Al-Qaeda.
The army with the support of the people's committee took over Ja'ar and Zinjibar, on June 12. Al-Qaeda militants were expelled having been in control of the areas for several months.
Meanwhile, the National Committee, dealing with removal of landmines, revealed last Tuesday that teams specializing in removing landmines eliminated over 3020 of landmines, explosives and bombs that were planted by the organization before fleeing Abyan.
The committee indicated that most of landmines are in Zinjibar and other areas including Al-Qood, Khanfar, Jabal Lahbosh and Shoqra.
The committee estimated that up to 10,000 landmines have been planted in Abyan, suggesting that they remain the biggest threat to the lives of the displaced who are attempting to return to their homes.