ADEN (Reuters) – A U.S.-backed military onslaught may have driven Islamist militants from towns in Yemen they seized last year, but many have regrouped into “sleeper cells” threatening anew the areas they vacated, security officials and analysts say.
The resilience of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), despite increased U.S. drone strikes to eliminate militants, is worrying for top oil exporter Saudi Arabia next door and the security of major shipping lanes in the seas off Yemen.
JAAR, Yemen, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Yemenis who fled the
fighting after al Qaeda militants occupied their home towns are
now under pressure to go home, but many are hesitating for fear
of the group’s lingering influence despite assurances that the
area east of Aden is now safe.
Around 150,000 people left Jaar and Zinjibar after militants
calling themselves the Ansar al-Sharia swept in between March
and May 2011, taking advantage of a security vacuum during an
uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
SANAA, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Yemen’s interim president has won
U.S. praise for cooperating in a war on al Qaeda, but his recent
public support for drone strikes that sometimes kill civilians
could undermine his domestic popularity and stir sympathy for
Yemen, an Arabian Peninsula country where al Qaeda militants
exploited a security vacuum during last year’s rising against
Ali Abdullah Saleh, has witnessed an escalated campaign of U.S.
missile strikes in recent months, often using the pilotless
aircraft known as drones.
ADEN (Reuters) – Yemeni separatist leaders, exploiting a weakening of central authority and freer political atmosphere since a national uprising last year, have returned from exile to rally support for reviving the state of South Yemen.
Secessionists in the south, Houthi Islamist tribal rebels in the north and al Qaeda militants all benefited from the popular upheaval in the Arabian Peninsula country that ousted veteran strongman president Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.
SANAA, Oct 3 (Reuters) – When riots erupted this month over
an anti-Islam film made in California, Houthi rebels, long
confined to remote corners of Yemen by then-President Ali
Abdullah Saleh, covered the capital Sanaa in posters, banners
and graffiti denouncing the United States.
Western diplomats and Sunni Islamists were taken aback by
the sudden show of strength in a city from which the Shi’ite
rebel group had long been banished.
SANAA (Reuters) – Seven months after he reluctantly handed over the presidency, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s continuing sway over Yemen is worrying Gulf neighbors and Western nations who fear that the political transition could descend into chaos.
While Saleh is held responsible by many Yemenis for the more than 2,000 deaths during last year’s uprising, it was the storming of the U.S. embassy on September 13 that appears to have jolted Western countries into changing their view of a man long seen by Washington as its best bet for containing militants.
SANAA (Reuters) – Nearly half of Yemenis go to bed hungry every night as political instability compounds a global food and fuel price surge, giving the Arabian Peninsula state the world’s third-highest rate of child malnutrition, the World Food Programme said on Sunday.
Yemen has been in turmoil since last year’s revolt against 33 years of rule by Ali Abdullah Saleh when already weak state control in outlying regions broke down as the army split into pro- and anti-Saleh factions and al Qaeda militants occupied some areas.
SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen will investigate alleged human rights violations that occurred during an uprising last year, officials said on Wednesday, possibly opening the way to prosecution of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his relatives.
Saleh and his immediate family obtained immunity from prosecution under Yemeni law under a U.S.-backed deal sponsored by Yemen’s Gulf neighbors last year in return for the veteran president’s departure from office. He stepped down in February.
DUBAI, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Bahrain on Tuesday delayed until
Sept. 4 a ruling in the retrial of 20 men convicted of leading
an uprising, lawyers said, a case under scrutiny from U.S.
officials keen for a release of prisoners to help restore calm
in a regional ally against Iran.
Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, has been in
turmoil since a protest movement dominated by majority Shi’ite
Muslims erupted in February 2011 as part of the wave of popular
revolts against repressive dynasties across the Arab world.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain has said it is banning opposition rallies in order to prevent disruption to traffic and street violence that are sabotaging efforts to end unrest in the Gulf Arab state.
But the opposition described the move as a new attempt to silence them.
The island state ruled by the Sunni Al Khalifa family has seen unrest since an uprising for political reforms, led by majority Shi’ites, was launched in February 2011 after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.