Yemeni army purges the city of Zinjibar of al-Qaeda

Army officers are continuing their campaign to remove al-Qaeda affiliates from Zinjibar and other areas of Abyan province in Yemen. [Yemen Defence Ministry]

Army officers are continuing their campaign to remove al-Qaeda affiliates from Zinjibar and other areas of Abyan province in Yemen. [Yemen Defence Ministry]

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The Yemeni Ministry of Defence announced Saturday (October 1st) that armed forces in the southern military region had purged large sections of the city of Zinjibar of al-Qaeda, the capital of Abyan province which the organisation had controlled since May

Officials also said that the army was able to seize the Bajadar district and its outskirts in the northern part of the city.

The ministry said tribesmen in Abyan province participated in the operation and are continuing their efforts to purge all of Zinjibar of terrorist elements.

The ministry said al-Qaeda suffered heavy losses in lives and materiel during the latest confrontations. Officials also said three soldiers were killed, and 10 were wounded in the operation.

Ahmed al-Rahwi, deputy governor of Abyan province, told Al-Shorfa the army recaptured all government buildings, including the Political Security Service building in the city, which was used by terrorists as a prison. The army succeeded in purging Zinjibar of terrorists almost entirely during operations on Sunday and Monday.

"Central Security Forces along with General Security Forces entered the city and re-established control. The army's purge operation reached the Bajadar district and its outskirts in the northern part of the city towards the Amoudiyah area and Jaar," al-Rahwi said.

Al-Qaeda fighters fled the city because of the intensity of the conflict, particularly after the army entered Amoudiyah with heavy weapons.

Al-Rahwi said that military air operations are ongoing, adding that one air raid targeted al-Razi hospital in the city of Jaar that al-Qaeda used as its headquarters, killing and wounding several terrorists.

Local media reports stated 30 soldiers from the 119th Infantry Brigade were killed in an errant air strike. Al-Rahwi refuted the reports saying, "The Khawla school in north Bajadar was targeted by the army when it was occupied by al-Qaeda fighters before the army captured it", which was confirmed by the defence ministry in a statement.

Officials acknowledged the need to begin restoration of Zinjibar.

"The task now lies in the removal of mines and booby traps planted by al-Qaeda fighters and restoring water and electricity services to a minimum level so citizens can return," al-Rahwi said. He said that the reconstruction effort is dependent upon solving the political crisis between the government and the political opposition because state resources and public co-operation are needed to begin the rebuilding process.

Abdo al-Janadi, deputy minister of information, told Al-Shorfa that 90% of Zinjibar districts were cleared but added a word of caution.

"Despite that victory, al-Qaeda still exists and the battle will continue until all remaining al-Qaeda pockets are eliminated," he said. "The war against al-Qaeda will continue until all objectives are completed, including purging all areas of Abyan of terrorist elements."

Vice President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi told Robin Searby, the British Prime Minister's adviser on counterterrorism for North Africa, in a Monday telephone call that Yemen will continue its campaign against al-Qaeda and that fighting is ongoing in Abyan. He said that the armed forces and Abyan citizens "continue their mission to purge Zinjibar of terrorist elements until all areas of Yemen are purged of this extremist terrorist organization that harmed Yemeni interests and threatens international peace and security".

Abdullah Amarem, an Abyan resident and a leader in the ruling Congress Party, said despite the armed forces' successful operations, it will be a long time before citizens can return to their homes.

"We have lost hope of returning to our towns and villages in Abyan after the damage caused by the terrorist elements. Despite the army's successes, the return of citizens is still far off in the future because al-Qaeda destroyed the province and its infrastructure which complicates the return process and makes it almost impossible to do under the current circumstances," he said.

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    سارة يعقوب

    2012-4-25

    Everyone is watching out from everyone else these days. No one desires to quit his position. The best example is the Chief Air Force Commander, who refused to obey the orders of the President to resign and quit! All such events make the situation in Yemen even harder. Lastly, I would like to say that everything has an end. All that is needed from all the nobles and loyal people is to be patient, and to struggle for the sake of a stable and happy Yemen once again, away from the tyrannical, unfair rulers.

  • علوان غازي

    2011-11-26

    We would like to congratulate and express our blessings to the members of the armed forces in Yemen and to the brave Yemenis. They have helped their armed forces clean up Zinjibar city, the capital of Abyan, of terrorist al-Qaeda members for more than three months after the eruption of fierce battles between the Yemeni armed forces and al-Qaeda members. In fact, the sons of the armed forces have managed to penetrate all parts of the city in order to rid it of the terrorist members who dominated it in the past. In addition, the Yemeni armed forces have managed to inflict huge losses on al-Qaeda in people and equipment. They have obliged them to leave state buildings and the headquarters of the security services, which they had controlled. Thus, al-Qaeda members have been obliged to flee the city, disappointed after they have received severe blows at the hands of the brave Yemeni army. The latter have decided to put an end to the abuse of this organization which is wreaking havoc in the security of the country and despises the blood of Yemenis. It has become like a sword on the neck of the innocent in the region, forcing a lot of people to leave the country or flee it, lest they be killed or annihilated.

  • ابو سلام

    2011-11-26

    We would like to thank God that the armed forces have managed to clean the entire city so as to restore life in it after it was a theater for military actions. In fact, this has been achieved, thanks to the bravery and intrepidness of the sons of the Yemeni armed forces, who launched successive raids on al-Qaeda, risking their lives in order to protect the nation and maintain the security of citizens. Thus, after achieving this great victory over terrorist organizations in Zinjibar, the concerned parties have immediately taken the required measures to start the process of reconstructing the country, after clearing mines and IEDs which had been planted by al-Qaeda in the region. They have also provided other services, namely water and electricity, and rehabilitated schools and hospitals, so that the citizens will be able to come back to the city and lead their normal life, after the period they have spent homeless. In fact, they have been suffering from different problems because of the oppressive and tyrannical practices which have been carried out by al-Qaeda against the innocent in the city. Yet, despite the victory which has been achieved by the sons of the armed forces, Yemen needs to continue making efforts to face al-Qaeda, so that the country will enjoy security and peace.

  • معين

    2011-11-4

    We congratulate the Yemeni army for cleansing Zinjibar city from the Al Qaeda members. May God grant them victory.

  • القحطاني

    2011-11-4

    After the great achievement of the Yemeni army in cleansing Zinjibar City of the remnants of the criminal and terrorist gangs that follow the terrorist Al Qaeda organization, I can only congratulate the Yemeni people and the heroic Yemeni army for this great victory over the terrorist groups that were expelled from Zinjibar City.

  • غالي سليم

    2011-10-31

    We congratulate the Yemeni army that has made this heroic achievement. And we commend their military operation that has broken the blockade in the city of Zinjibar. These military forces have succeeded in expelling the terrorist organization of al-Qaeda. And they have restored the city’s security and stability. Thus, the citizens have returned to their houses after leaving their city due to the inhumane practices of the Takfiri organization. In fact, the Yemeni military forces have saved the city of Zinjibar from the remnants of terrorism.

  • حمزة سالم

    2011-10-31

    The Yemeni army has performed its duties perfectly. That is why the Yemenis have arrive at a state of security and stability, away from the terrorist and extremist groups that want to destroy the country. In fact, some Yemeni cities have been suffering from the dominance of terrorism, and the citizens of Zinjibar have been suffering from terrorist crimes. Thus, the Yemeni army has saved this city from the blockade of terrorism. In fact, it is a good thing to see the military forces enter Zinjibar with courage and competence in order to break the blockade and to get rid of the remnants of al-Qaeda. This is really a heroic act which has delighted the citizens, especially because they have been suffering for months due to the terrorist criminal operations. In fact, this city has been targeted in a brutal way. That is why the protection of the citizens from these unbelievers and criminals has been among the army’s priorities. Thanks be to God, that they have achieved this victory because the remnants of terrorism have wreaked havoc in the land and they have targeted the families and civilians in order to destroy this city. In fact, the citizens have witnessed a tragic situation. And the Yemeni military forces have made good moves and taken measures in order to save the citizens of Zinjibar from the tyranny of terrorism. In fact, they have worked on saving their city from the criminals and the unbelievers.

  • رامي علاءالدين

    2011-10-29

    All praise be to God. This piece of news has delighted me very much and I ask God to support our brothers in Yemen and enable their heroic army to defend its land strongly, in order to continue in confronting terrorism and defeating it everywhere. This is the beginning of the ultimate victory, especially given that it coincided with the fall of al-Qaeda and all of the armed organizations that adopt takfiri, extremist and terrorist methodology. We must get rid of such terrorist organizations that plan to stay in Yemen and establish camps there to manage to kill the civilians who are more innocent. They want an alternative stronghold for al-Qaeda, after they lost Afghanistan. However, the stance of the Yemeni people and the heroic army played the most significant role in protecting the country from the danger of those mean people. Unfortunately, they managed within a few months to exploit the current circumstances and announced their control over the Zinjibar area in the central Abyan Province. They thought that no one would resist them and they declared their organization there and their control over the area. Their armed groups started killing the innocent civilians and committing many crimes and explosions that targeted the headquarters of the embassies and public institutions in Yemen. Soon, the army moved and managed to liberate the residents in the Zinjibar area from the domination of these criminals. They extended their control over the area after imposing a siege on it with the help of the people of the region, until the army managed to end this siege and enter into the area to expel the terrorists, after killing and arresting many of them. Even those who managed to escape are being chased in all the neighboring areas to Zinjibar.

  • حبيب صافي

    2011-10-29

    God Bless you guys! The Yemeni forces and the army lifted the siege of Zinjibar and entered the city. This represents a strong blow against the groups of the Al-Qaeda organization, that were very active in this city. What happened is the biggest proof of the concern and the aim of the army forces to achieve peace, stability and security in the area. They protected many souls of the Yemeni people, especially in Zinjibar in which the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization was present. This is why the Yemeni army has a responsibility to fight and end all of the terrorist operations executed by the gangs of this organization in order to protect the security of Yemen, especially now that the Yemenis are demanding to oust the government and appoint another that would serve and provide the services that the citizens need. The army has to fulfill its duty by putting all of the terrorists in Yemen under surveillance. Those agents exploit the chaotic situations that the government and people face. We wish that Yemen and the Yemenis could live in safety and stability; we hope they are not negatively affected by the terrorists' actions, and by the temptations they use, such as the misleading religion principles or money used to involve people in shedding the blood of innocents. The Yemenis have to take care of their country; they have to improve their conditions, and they have to get rid of the destruction, corruption, killing and violations exerced by the Al-Qaeda terrorist groups. The army and security forces have to fulfill their duty towards the Yemeni people. They have to work hard to provide security and protection for all the people. We hope for the best for Yemen and Yemenis; we hope they have goodness, peace, stability and calm. We hope they will work hard in order to find the peace of mind and to take advantage of all the services that would improve their conditions, God willing.

  • حسون

    2011-10-29

    It is good that the Yemeni army lifted the siege and entered Zinjibar. I wish you the best.

  • وقاص

    2011-10-28

    In spite of all the tragic and unfortunate events from the huge and massive revolution that calls for freedom and which took place in Yemen, and although the Yemeni army stood beside the ruling regime and repressed the demonstrators, I admire the national duty that the army has carried out to get rid of terrorist groups which exploited the situations and took control over Zinjibar city in the recent past. The brave army did not forget its national duty; they strongly headed to this city to liberate its people from the oppression of the al-Qaeda organization and to rule over it. I congratulate the military general who was under siege in that city, because he stood against al-Qaeda and did not give up to it, although the siege period continued for three months, and we hoped to see the brave army standing beside the Yemeni people and to see the weapons and guns of this army directed towards al-Qaeda and the real enemies of Yemen, and not towards the chests of the Yemeni people, who were rising up against the oppression and dictatorship represented in the current president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

  • جبران

    2011-10-24

    We would like to congratulate the Yemeni army for purifying the city of Zinjibar of the cells of the al-Qaeda terrorist group. They have eliminated the criminal elements that seek to harm people by carrying out such terrorist attacks that prove their brutality and criminality. The Yemeni security forces and army must perform their duties towards the Yemeni people and the army to maintain the security and stability and to keep peace. This is the only way to prevent the members of al-Qaeda from spreading in Yemen and carrying out terrorist attacks against the peaceful citizens, because the al-Qaeda terrorist group exploits the unstable situation in the country to carry out terrorist attacks and to spread their existence and base, which started to attract supporters in most of the Arab states. Hence, the security agencies and armies of all the Arab countries must arrest these groups that pose a threat to the security of the state and the safety of the innocent citizens. They introduce themselves as Islamic groups that have the right to kill people, but they are actually terrorist groups that kill and carry out bombings and attacks for money. Of course, this tarnishes the image of Islam, which, which promotes tolerance, love, wisdom and peace and prohibits the killing of souls without just cause. Islam does not call for acts of violence and criminality.

  • حسان محد

    2011-10-24

    Peace be upon you…. Islam is the religion of mercy and humanity. Hence, the efforts of the Yemeni army in fighting and eliminating all the terrorist elements in Zinjibar are very good, and it proves that the Yemeni army is aware of all the activities and crimes of the terrorists that harm the country and the Yemeni citizens. They have purified the city of all the terrorist elements, and we should express our gratitude to the Yemeni people, who have maintained the security and stability of the city, which must be cleansed of any criminal elements and terrorist groups that carry out explosions and assassinations after recruiting the Yemeni youth. They seek to spread the terrorist operations at the hands of the children of the Yemenis through the exploitation of religious enthusiasm and using financial incentives. The latter factor is the key element in this issue, because the Yemenis suffer from poverty, hunger and corruption. Therefore, it is very easy for them to be exploited and controlled through the material incentives. So, we see that the terrorist groups seek seriously to spread their bases in the land of Yemen.