Yemeni security forces have swept into a region of the country thought to be a haven for al Qaeda, the governing party says.
More than 1,000 soldiers and security officials are involved in the operation in Shabwa province, the al-Motamer party said on its Web site Saturday. The United States believes Yemeni-American militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is in the region.
Β The cleric has been linked to Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan and failed Christmas bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab. Yemen is not specifically targeting him in the operation.
The offensive comes after the governor of the province delivered an ultimatum to local tribes to "eradicate" al Qaeda operatives themselves or the army would move in, a Yemeni government official told CNN Sunday. FULL STORY