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Yemen police arrest Islamists after deadly Aden bombing

By AFP - Oct 11,2017 - Last updated at Oct 11,2017

People carry a relative on a stretcher to a cholera treatment centre in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, on Sunday (Reuters photo)

ADEN — Yemeni police have arrested 10 members of the Islamist Al Islah Party, the group said Wednesday, following a roadside bombing that killed a cleric with ties to the United Arab Emirates.

Imam Yassin Al Adani, a Yemeni cleric who serves as spiritual adviser to the UAE troops allied with the government in Yemen’s war, was killed when a roadside bomb struck his car near the Zayed Mosque in the southern city of Aden on Tuesday, multiple security sources told AFP.

The cleric’s 12-year-old son was injured in the attack, the sources said.

The Yemeni government has not officially named suspects behind the bombing, but Al-Islah said police had arrested 10 members of the Sunni Islamist movement at dawn, including undersecretary general, Mohammed Abdulmalik, and a field commander. 

A source in Aden’s police force confirmed officers had raided Al Islah’s offices in the city, arresting 10 members of the movement and confiscating explosives.

Elsewhere in southern Yemen, pro-government troops secured a key highway linking Shabwa province — a former bastion of Al Qaeda — to the Saudi border further north, according to a security source.

“The highway had been under the control of Al Qaeda, gangs and robbers,” the source told AFP, adding that “security forces were facing constant ambush”.

The operation to secure the 250-kilometre highway was carried out by the UAE-trained Yemeni special forces.

Those forces launched a major operation against Al Qaeda two months ago, driving it from the oil-rich Shabwa province with American backing.

The terrorists are thought to have moved farther south into neighbouring Abyan province, where they have since been blamed for suicide attacks on Yemen’s military.

Yemen’s complex war pits a government alliance, backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, against a rebel camp with ties to Iran.

Terrorist groups, including the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda, have also flourished in the chaos of the war, primarily in the southern provinces.

Foreign diplomats in the Gulf say the UAE’s goals in the Yemen war include gaining control of Arabian Sea ports and driving Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) out of the south.

Northern Yemen, until 1990 independent from south Yemen, is controlled by the Shiite Houthi rebels.

The United States also regularly carries out drone strikes aimed at targets identified as affiliated with AQAP.

More than 8,500 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the Yemen war in 2015, according to the World Health Organisation.


The UN has also warned of mass starvation in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.

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