Terrorism |

Al-Qaeda blows up home of top Abyan officer

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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Yemeni fighters from the UAE-trained Giants brigades patrol near the Abyan province city of Zinjibar on September 2nd. [Nabil Hasan/AFP]

Al-Qaeda elements on Sunday (February 9th) blew up the house of a top pro-government military officer in Abyan province's al-Mahfad district, the Security Belt Forces media centre said.

The attack on the Wadi Hamra home of Rapid Intervention Forces commander Jamal Lakmah destroyed the house and wounded some of Lakmah's family.

The Rapid Intervention Forces are a division of the UAE-backed Security Belt Forces.

"Al-Qaeda elements detonated the house at dawn on Sunday, causing direct injuries to Lakmah family members, including women and children," the media centre said.

The attack came as local and international observers urged the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to expedite the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.

The Saudi-brokered power-sharing agreement between Yemen's government and the southern separatists aims to end a sub-conflict and further efforts to end the wider civil war that has devastated the country.

Any delay in implementing this agreement will only benefit al-Qaeda, which has exploited rumours of disputes between the various parties to carry out attacks like this one, observers told Al-Mashareq.

Need for unity against al-Qaeda

"The detonation of [Lakmah's] house took place following reports of disputes between the Yemeni forces and STC forces on the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, although there were no clashes," political analyst Faisal Ahmed said.

"There are minor differences on the implementation of the agreement between the two sides," he told Al-Mashareq, noting that "some military units are being re-deployed now in implementation of the agreement".

The Yemeni army's Coastal Defence Brigade is being transferred from Abyan to Tor al-Baha in Lahij province, via al-Alem checkpoint at the entrance of Aden province, he said.

Meanwhile, he added, another brigade is being transferred from Lahij to the Maris front to fight the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah).

"These steps are positive developments," he said, noting that "the dispute was sparked by an STC demand to transfer another brigade from Abyan to Marib".

"The Arab Coalition and Joint Military Committee commanders are working hard to resolve the issue," he said, pointing out that there have been some positive developments.

These include the arrival of Saudi forces and assets in Aden in support of the Yemeni forces, he said.

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