Hundreds of men presumed to be connected to al Qaeda on May 29 took control of Zinjibar after battles with the Yemeni army in which 140 people died, including about 80 soldiers. - File Photo

ADEN, Yemen: Hundreds of residents of a southern Yemeni town in which al Qaeda has embedded itself called on Friday for the departure of the Islamic militants from their neighbourhood, an official said.

“Hundreds of residents of Jaar gathered in front of the town's mosque to show their opposition to armed groups with links to al Qaeda,” Mohsen Salem Said, a member of the municipal council, told AFP.

He said residents “demanded that these armed men leave Jaar, so it does not befallen the same fate as Zinjibar,” a neighbouring town in Abyan province.

Hundreds of men presumed to be connected to al Qaeda on May 29 took control of Zinjibar after battles with the Yemeni army in which 140 people died, including about 80 soldiers.

An imam in Jaar told AFP that the Qaeda suspects fired in to the air to disperse the crowd gathered in front of the mosque, injuring one of the faithful.

Southern Yemen is increasingly riven by instability.

Dozens of alleged al Qaeda gunmen attacked security and government buildings in the southern Yemeni town of Huta on Wednesday killing two policemen and wounding five others.

Elsewhere, raids by the Yemeni military targeted al Qaeda positions near Jaar on Friday, injuring two of the Islamist group and three civilians, residents said.

However, CIA chief Leon Panetta told a Senate hearing on Thursday the US was conducting anti-terrorist operations in Yemen, where air strikes usually carried out by unmanned drones -- have gathered pace in recent weeks.

The US said Tuesday it would cooperate with Yemen against al Qaeda and would hold anti-terrorism talks with Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi while President Ali Abdullah Saleh is hospitalised in Riyadh, where he is being treated for wounds sustained in an attack on his compound.

Opinion

Editorial

KP’s ‘power struggle’
Updated 21 Jun, 2024

KP’s ‘power struggle’

Instead of emboldening protesters, CM Gandapur should encourage his provincial subjects to clear their due bills and ensure theft is minimised.
Journalist’s murder
21 Jun, 2024

Journalist’s murder

ANOTHER name has been added to the list of journalists murdered in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Khalil Jibran’s vehicle...
A leaner government?
21 Jun, 2024

A leaner government?

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has reiterated his government’s ‘commitment’ to shutting down ministries...
Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...