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News from Yemen: Scores Killed in Yemen Mosque Blast

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  • Zafar Khan
    Scores Killed in Yemen Mosque Blast IslamOnline.net & News Agencies Fri. May. 2, 2008
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2008
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      Scores Killed in Yemen Mosque Blast
      IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
      Fri. May. 2, 2008

      http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1209357194974&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

      SANAA – At least 15 people were killed and scores
      injured when a bomb exploded outside a mosque in
      Yemen's volatile northern city of Saada on Friday, May
      2.
      "A booby-trapped motorcycle exploded at the entrance
      of the mosque as the worshippers left after the Friday
      prayers," Saada governor Motahhar Rashad told the
      pan-Arab Al-Jazeera television.

      The governor gave an initial count of six dead and 35
      wounded.

      But a Yemeni security source put the death toll higher
      at "around 15" and between 60 and 70 people injured.

      The injured were almost all soldiers.

      Witnesses said the blast targeted the mosque's imam,
      who is also an army officer.

      The imam was not in the mosque when the blast ripped
      through though other Yemeni officers were.

      There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

      The northwestern province of Saada has been rocked by
      sporadic violence since a conflict broke out in 2004
      between government forces and Shiite rebels, leaving
      hundreds of people dead and forced thousands to flee
      their homes.

      Seven Yemeni troops were killed late on Tuesday in an
      ambush by the rebels.

      Yemen officials say the rebels have been fighting to
      restore the Zaidi imamate, which was overthrown in a
      1962 republican coup in Yemen.

      The rebels, known as Houthis, say they are defending
      their villages against what they call government
      aggression.

      One of the poorest countries outside of Africa, Yemen
      has been struggling with several conflicts in addition
      to its significant economic challenges.

      Denial

      The Shiite rebels denied responsibility for the mosque
      attack.

      "We categorically deny any link to the blast," rebel
      leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi told Al-Jazeera.

      The rebel leader said the attack aims to nip in the
      bud efforts to achieve peace deal in Saada.

      "We condemn this attack and offer condolences to the
      families of the victims," he said.

      Brokered by Qatar, the Yemeni government and Shiite
      rebels signed a peace deal in June 2007.

      The agreement, under which the rebels would lay down
      their arms, was revived during a meeting between the
      two sides in Doha in February.

      Qatari mediators were still in the capital Sanaa on
      Friday, but Yemeni authorities rushed military
      reinforcements to Saada in the past few days amid
      mounting tensions with the rebels.

      Yemen, an Arabian peninsula country with a tribal
      structure, has been repeatedly hit by violence in
      recent weeks.

      Two attacks in Sanaa in March and April targeted US
      interests and were claimed by the local wing of the
      Al-Qaeda network.

      On Wednesday, two car bombs exploded inside the
      compound of customs headquarters in Sanaa, but there
      were no casualties.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Violence in Yemen after mosque blast
      Sat May 3, 2008

      http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/05/03/yemen.blast/

      (CNN) -- The government of Yemen dispatched troops and
      artillery to the city of Saada on Saturday after
      violence involving Shiite militants left 18 people
      dead and 48 others injured over a 24-hour period,
      authorities said.

      Officials said they expect violence to escalate
      following Friday's bombing outside a mosque that
      targeted a local imam.

      The attack occurred in Saada, nearly 150 miles (240
      kilometers) north of the country's capital, Sanaa.

      Yemeni government officials said a motorcycle was used
      to carry out an attack at the entrance of a mosque.

      One official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he
      was not authorized to comment to media, said that many
      of the dead and injured were leaving Friday prayers at
      the Bin Salman mosque, The Associated Press reported,
      when the bomb exploded in a stationary car.

      "I saw crowds of people and two charred vehicles -- I
      think one of them was the car bomb," Mohammed Abdel
      Bari, a worshipper, told AP. "I saw scores of people
      laying on the ground."

      The region has been riven with violence since a Shiite
      Muslim rebellion in June 2004, with thousands killed
      in the ensuing conflict. The insurgents, now led by
      Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, are critical of the authorities
      and their alliance with the West and the U.S. in
      particular.

      The attack came 24 hours after the military blamed
      insurgents for killing seven soldiers, AP, added,
      sparking extra troop deployments in the region even
      before Friday's explosion.

      In addition to the rebellion, security forces have
      also had to contend with attacks by al Qaeda -- the
      nation is the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden -- on
      foreigners.

      Last month the U.S. embassy ordered all non-emergency
      staff to leave the country, one day after a rocket
      attack on a compound that houses Western and other
      international oil workers. It also followed attacks
      that have targeted the embassy over the last two years

      And earlier this week a U.S. State Department report
      called Yemen's counterterrorism efforts in 2007 as
      "mixed" with "significant setbacks," including
      releasing all returned Guantanamo detainees and
      instituting a surrender program for terrorists with
      "lenient requirements."

      It also criticized Yemen's weak counterterrorism laws
      and an "ineffective" justice system.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Qaeda claims attack on Italian embassy in Yemen
      Sat May 3, 2008 11:33am EDT

      http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL03718052

      DUBAI, May 3 (Reuters) - An al Qaeda-linked group
      claimed responsibility on Saturday for a failed mortar
      attack on the Italian embassy in the Yemeni capital
      Sanaa three days ago.

      "Al Qaeda Organisation in the Arabian Peninsula -
      Yemen Soldiers Brigades - claims responsibility for
      the blessed operation ... on the morning of Wednesday
      April 30, 2008, (that attacked) the Italian embassy
      building in Sanaa with two mortar shells," the group
      said in a statement posted on an al Qaeda-affiliated
      website.

      It said the attack was aimed at expelling infidels
      from the Arabian Peninsula, home to Islam's holiest
      sites.

      Two shells hit the parking lot of a customs building
      adjacent to the Italian embassy on Wednesday, but
      there were no casualties.

      Last month, an al Qaeda-linked group said it fired
      three mortar shells at a complex housing Americans and
      other Westerners in Sanaa, in which no one was hurt.

      In March, a school near the U.S. embassy was hit by
      mortars, injuring 13 girls and five Yemenis soldiers
      in an attack Washington said was aimed at its mission.

      Yemen has seen a surge in small attacks on government
      buildings and foreign embassies in recent weeks.

      The country, which joined the U.S.-led war on terror
      after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, is
      seen in the West as a haven for Islamist militants
      accused of involvement in attacks on Western targets
      and clashes with authorities.

      Yemen has also witnessed attacks on oil installations
      and U.S. and French ships in recent years. (Reporting
      by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Dominic Evans)
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Yemen explosion kills 15
      Friday May 2 2008

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/02/yemen

      At least 15 people have been killed and dozens injured
      in an explosion in Yemen today, officials said.

      A security official said at least 60 people had been
      hurt, while Reuters reported that 100 were taken to
      hospital after the blast, which happened in the city
      of Saada.

      It is believed explosives packed into a motorbike were
      detonated as worshippers left a mosque after Friday
      prayers.

      Saada lies in a region that has been hit by violence
      in recent years. Thousands have been killed since a
      Shia rebellion erupted in June 2004.

      Although the rebels have since agreed a ceasefire, the
      violence has continued and forced thousands to flee
      their homes.

      Seven Yemeni troops were killed in an ambush by rebels
      on Tuesday.

      The Yemeni government, which is allied to the US,
      claims Shia rebels want to return to a form of
      clerical rule that was prevalent in the country until
      the 1960s.

      However, the rebels say they are defending their
      villages against what they describe as government
      aggression.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Yemen car bomber targets worshippers
      Reuters
      Friday, 2 May 2008

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-car-bomber-targets-worshippers-820083.html

      Six people were killed and at least 35 wounded today
      when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded outside a
      mosque in Yemen's volatile northern city of Saada.


      The blast happened as worshippers, including army
      officers, were leaving the Salman Mosque after Friday
      prayers, officials and security sources said.

      "We estimate so far six dead and around 35 wounded,"
      Motahhar Rashad told Al-Jazeera television. "It is a
      large mosque."

      Rescue workers were still helping people at the scene,
      and medical sources told Reuters around 100 people had
      been taken to two hospitals in the area.

      It was not known who planted the bomb near the door of
      the mosque, but the northwestern province has been
      rocked by sporadic violence since a conflict broke out
      in 2004 between government forces and rebels loyal to
      Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

      Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have
      fled their homes in Saada since the conflict began.

      Seven Yemeni troops were killed late on Tuesday in an
      ambush by the rebels, who often clash with troops of
      the U.S.-allied Yemeni government and tribes loyal to
      it.

      Yemeni officials say the rebels, from the Zaydi sect
      of Shi'ite Islam, want to return to a form of clerical
      rule prevalent in the country until the 1960s. The
      rebels say they are defending their villages against
      what they call government aggression.

      Sunni Muslims form a majority of Yemen's 19 million
      population, while most of the rest, including Houthi
      and his supporters, are Zaydis.

      Houthi's supporters, who are not believed to be linked
      to al Qaeda, oppose Yemen's alliance with the United
      States.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      http://www.islamawareness.net/MiddleEast/Yemen/
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