Monday, January 18, 2010

Qaeda Says Fighters Alive, Yemen Vows More Strikes

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Yemen-based wing of al Qaeda said on Monday its fighters had survived an air strike last week that Yemeni officials said killed six leaders of the militant group.

"The Yemeni government has been making many false claims ... against the Mujahideen leaders in the Arabian Peninsula," al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a statement on an Islamist website used by the group.

"The latest of these claims is that it killed six of them between the provinces of al-Jawf and Saada. We assure our Muslim nation that none of the Mujahideen were killed in that strike, but some have suffered mild injuries," it added. ...

Yemen ... came to the forefront of U.S.-led efforts to battle militants after al Qaeda's Yemen wing said it was behind an attempt on December 25 to bomb a U.S.-bound passenger plane. ...

Friday's strike on two cars was reported to have killed the Yemeni al Qaeda wing's military chief Qasim al-Raymi as well as Ayed al-Shabwani, accused of sheltering militants on his farm in Maarib province where their training took place. ...

The death of another militant, Anwar al-Awlaki, who Yemen reported last month might have been killed in an air strike, was never confirmed.


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