Defense Ministry claims air raids killed Al-Qaeda affiliates, locals deny, say civilian deaths

Published on 31 December 2012 in News
Ahmed Dawood (author)

Ahmed Dawood


SANA’A – Defense officials say multiple Al-Qaeda affiliates were killed in air raids on Friday and Saturday in Al-Baida’a and Hadramout governorates.

The Defense Ministry's website reported that three Al-Qaeda members were killed on Saturday night in the Al-Manaseh village in Rada’a of Al-Baida’a.

However, Sheikh Khaled Al-Dahab, a prominent social leader in Rada’a, refuted the Ministry's report.

He said the three people were killed by a drone meant for Al-Qaeda members.  He said the men killed are civilians and have no links to Al-Qaeda.

The Ministry indicated that the raid targeted a car carrying Al-Qaeda passengers on their way from Khabza village in Al-Qoraishia district to the Al-Manaseh village.

The victims are identified as Saleh Mohammed Al-Ameri, Salim Ali Abdulla Al-Ameri and Abdulwahd Matloob Al-Ameri.

Al-Dahab told the Yemen Times that residents are worried about drones that targets civilians.  He said the families of civilians who are killed by drone strikes never receive official apologies or compensation.

For his part, Ahmed Ziad, the Sheikh of Rada’a, said the 2008-model truck the men were driving was completely destroyed. The unrecognizable corpses of the men were given to deputy director of Al-Baida’a Security, he said.

Four men were also killed in an air raid on Friday night in Al-Shehr district of Al-Baida’a.

Ibrahim Al-Amodi, a resident in Al-Shehr, said the men are likely affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

Al-Amodi identified the victims as Abdulla Abu Bakr Bawazeer, Nabeel Salem Zain Al-Keldi, Musad Al-Nahari and Khaled Al-Mahmodi.

But, the local council in Al-Sheher district held a meeting on Saturday afternoon with sheikhs and public figures of the district in order to discuss the air raids.

Again, leaders denied an Al-Qaeda affiliation.  

In the meeting, Hussein Badahia, the general manager of Al-Sheher district, condemned attacks that target residents in Hadramout, pointing out that these raids create fear among the residents. He called for the halt of massacres against innocent people.

Security forces intensified their protection procedures for several foreign embassies in Sana’a in anticipation of retaliation by Al-Qaeda.

Several Al-Qaeda members have been killed in air raids in various Yemeni governorates. Anwar Al-Awlaqi, a prominent Al-Qaeda leader was killed in October 2011.

Tareq Al-Dahab, another well-known leader, was also killed by a drone in February 2011 Al-Baida’a, days after he had taken control of several government facilities in Rada’a.