Source: Al-Awlaki was killed by U.S. drone
American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed Friday in Yemen, the nation's Defense Ministry said.
September 30th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Source: Al-Awlaki was killed by U.S. drone

[Updated at 12:21 p.m. ET] The airstrike that killed militant American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in a car in Yemen came from a U.S. drone, a government source who was briefed by the CIA told CNN.

Three others, including Samir Khan, an American of Pakistani origin, were killed with al-Awlaki, reported Yemen's state-run Saba news agency, citing an official security source.

Al-Awlaki was killed about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Yemeni town of Khashef, east of the capital, Sanaa, said Mohammed Basha, a spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington. He said the operation was launched at 9:55 a.m.

[Updated at 11:59 a.m. ET] The airstrike that killed radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was part of an American counterterrorism program that "violates both U.S. and international law," said American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer.

"This is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process," he said.

A Yemeni official has described the strike as "a successful joint intelligence-sharing operation" between Yemen and the United States

[Updated at 11:53 a.m. ET]  U.S President Barack Obama said Friday's death of  American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is a major blow for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and marks another milestone in the effort to defeat the terrorist network.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a "dangerous but weakened" threat that calls for continued vigilance on the part of the United States despite al-Awlaki's death, Obama said.

Al-Awlaki - whose fluency in English and technology made him one of the top terrorist recruiters in the world - was killed Friday in an airstrike in Yemen, officials said.

The United States regarded al-Awlaki, the public face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as a terrorist who posed a major threat to American homeland security. Western intelligence officials believe al-Awlaki was a senior leader of AQAP, one of the most active al Qaeda affiliates in the world. It has been linked to the attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit in December 2009 and a cargo plane plot last year.

[Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET] Samir Khan, an American of  Pakistani origin specializing in computer programming for al Qaeda, was killed Friday with cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni  security official told the state-run news agency, Saba.  Khan was also the principal author of Inspire, an online magazine for the terror network.

[Initial post] Friday's death of American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, announced earlier in the day,  happened when an airstrike hit his motorcade, a Yemeni government official told CNN. The source would not say who carried out the strike.

The United States regarded al-Awlaki, the public face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as a terrorist who posed a major threat to American homeland security. Western intelligence officials believe al-Awlaki was a senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the most active al Qaeda affiliates in the world. It has been linked to the attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit in December 2009 and a cargo plane plot last year.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Al Qaeda • Yemen
September 27th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

Yemen defense minister survives assassination attempt

Yemen's defense minister escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy, the Yemeni government said.

The attack took place in Tawahi, Aden, along Yemen's southern coast.

A bomb-laden vehicle exploded at 11 a.m. targeting General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed's convoy, the Defense Ministry said.

The bomber was killed. Eyewitnesses said two explosions were heard and that clashes followed for 10 minutes.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: World • Yemen
September 23rd, 2011
11:47 AM ET

Yemeni president returns home

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned home after undergoing treatment in Saudi Arabia, a government spokesman said Friday.

Saleh returned to Yemen after a three-month medical stay in Saudi Arabia, said Mohammed Albasha, the Yemeni government spokesman.

Protesters have been calling for the ouster of the longtime president, who had been recuperating from injuries he received in a June attack on his palace. He has vowed to finish his term.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Yemen
September 21st, 2011
11:08 AM ET

Deadly Yemen clashes as protester funerals held

Opposition forces mourned their dead Wednesday, as 30 of the 83 protesters medical sources say were killed this week by government forces were buried.

Senior members of the opposition were among more than 500,000 opposition supporters to attend the funerals, witnesses said.

Five more protesters were killed by government forces Wednesday in Change Square in the capital, Sanaa, a medical team in the square said.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Yemen
Report: U.S. setting up drone bases in Africa, Indian Ocean
A U.S. Predator drone is shown in Afghanistan last year.
September 21st, 2011
08:15 AM ET

Report: U.S. setting up drone bases in Africa, Indian Ocean

The United States is assembling a network of secret drone bases in Africa and around the Indian Ocean to fight terror groups in the region, the Washington Post reports.

The bases are in Ethiopia, the Seychelles islands, Djibouti on the Horn of Africa and in an unnamed location on the Arabian Peninsula, the Post reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

The base network is being set up to fight al Qaeda-affiliated terror groups in Somalia and Yemen, according to the report, and the locations “are based on potential target sets,” the Post quotes a senior U.S. military official as saying.

“If you look at it geographically, it makes sense — you get out a ruler and draw the distances (drones) can fly and where they take off from,” the official told the Post.

The report says the U.S. has used drones in attacks in six countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

Post by:
Filed under: Africa • Al Qaeda • Ethiopia • Seychelles • Somalia • Terrorism • World • Yemen
September 14th, 2011
07:52 PM ET

Attacks target security offices in Yemen

[Updated at 7:52 p.m. ET ] Explosions rocked two government security offices Thursday morning in Aden, Yemen. The first explosion occurred at the city's political security headquarters, while the other was at al-Mualla police station, witnesses said.

No casualties were reported among security forces from either explosion, a security official at al-Mualla police station said. Explosives had been hidden behind the police station, the official said.

In all, at least four blasts were heard over the course of an hour in the city's al-Mansoora and Mualla districts.

Residents said that security forces fatally shot a child minutes after the explosions. "Police officers went on rooftops and started shooting," said Khaled Saleem, a resident of al-Mualla.

No immediate claim of responsibility was made, and speculation differed over who could have been behind the attacks.

FULL STORY
September 10th, 2011
04:44 PM ET

Warships free hostage taken from yacht off Yemen

Warships stopped a suspected pirate skiff Saturday and rescued a crew member of a French yacht that sent a distress call this week off the coast of Yemen, officials said.

A helicopter located the yacht after the Thursday night distress call, but an inspection found no one on board.

Two vessels, one French and the other Spanish, trailed the skiff and ordered it to stop, according to European Naval Force Somalia. All of the suspects were detained.

Another yacht crew member was believed to have been killed when the suspects boarded the vessel, the naval force said in a statement.

The skiff sank during Saturday's operation, but neither the hostage nor the suspected pirates were harmed, officials said.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: France • Pirates • Yemen
North Africa and Middle East unrest, country by country
Ten people, mostly journalists, were injured Thursday when police tried to stop clashes between pro-regime and anti-government protesters in Jordan.
July 15th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

North Africa and Middle East unrest, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force that has escalated into seemingly unending violence. Here are the latest developments and information about the roots of the unrest.

Jordan

Several hundred protesters marching through Amman on Friday were attacked by riot police, CNN's Arwa Damon said. A Jordanian security official said riot police were called in only after a group of loyalists clashed with the pro-reform protesters.

The protesters departed Al Hussein mosque on their way to Palm Tree Square, when they were surrounded by police along the way, Damon reported. Upon reaching the square, riot police charged the protesters, beating them with batons and using shields to push them back, she said.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Algeria • Jordan • Libya • Protest • Syria • Yemen
U.S. Navy rescues tanker crew after pirate attack
U.S. Navy sailors approach a lifeboat carrying the crew of a burning tanker off Yemen on Wednesday.
July 6th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

U.S. Navy rescues tanker crew after pirate attack

U.S. Navy sailors from the guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea rescued 26 crew members of a Liberian-flagged tanker after an attack by pirates off Yemen on Wednesday, according to Navy and media reports.

A rocket-propelled grenade struck the 144,000-ton crude carrier Brilliante Virtuoso in an early-morning pirate attack, setting fire to crew quarters on the vessel, according to a report from Reuters Africa.

"It is understood that the pirates fired RPG into the accommodation area, which started a fire," ship manager Central Mare Inc. said in a statement quoted by Reuters Africa. "As a result the pirates abandoned their efforts to take control of the ship and left the scene, and the master ordered evacuation of all crew members."

The Philippine Sea responded to a distress call from the Brilliante Virtuoso and found the crew of 26 Filipinos in a lifeboat. The U.S. ship did not see any sign of pirates, according to the Combined Maritime Forces, a 25-nation coalition under which the Philippine Sea was operating.

Two tug boats dispatched from Aden were escorting the tanker with its load of a million barrels of fuel oil to safe port, Reuters Africa reported.

Post by:
Filed under: Pirates • U.S. Navy • Yemen
Adviser: Doctors say Yemen president should stay in Saudi Arabia longer
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was injured in an attack at the presidential palace on June 3.
June 24th, 2011
10:22 AM ET

Adviser: Doctors say Yemen president should stay in Saudi Arabia longer

The health of the wounded Yemen president is improving but doctors are recommending that he stay in Saudi Arabia for a "longer time" to recover, an adviser said Friday.

Yemeni ruling party officials had been saying that President Ali Abdullah Saleh would return home Friday from Saudi Arabia, where he was taken for treatment after he was injured in a June 3 attack on the country's presidential palace.

The attack took place on a mosque in the presidential palace when senior officials were attending Friday prayer.

Investigators: More than one bomb in Yemen attack

Post by:
Filed under: Yemen
June 22nd, 2011
09:26 AM ET

Suspected al Qaeda militants escape from Yemeni jail

Dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants escaped from a jail in the Yemeni city of Mukalla Wednesday, according to a senior security official.

CNN could not independently verify that the escapees were members of al Qaeda.

A soldier and a prisoner were killed and two soldiers were injured in the incident, said the security official who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Armed militants began attacking the prison at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, witnesses said. They fired heavy artillery before the escape.

Recent clashes in the southern province of Abyan killed seven Yemeni soldiers and 17 militants. The fighting was mainly concentrated in the cities of Zinjibar and Jaar.

Government troops have been battling both anti-government tribal forces and Islamic militants, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

FULL POST

June 21st, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

SYRIA

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered another general amnesty Tuesday for those accused of crimes, Syrian state TV reported. It's the second known amnesty overture from the embattled Syrian leader since protests erupted in the Middle Eastern country.

GPS: Another deeply disappointing speech by Bashar al-Assad

Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, said Tuesday that dozens of protesters were arrested Monday during peaceful anti-government demonstrations in the city of Aleppo.

State TV showed images Tuesday of thousands joining pro-regime rallies in cities such as Daraa, Aleppo and Homs. Some in the crowds chanted, "With our blood, with our souls, we will sacrifice for you, Bashar" and "God, Syria and Bashar only."

At least 10,718 Syrian refugees, many of whom fled a military advance in and around the city of Jisr al-Shugur, have crossed the border into Turkey, the Turkish government said.

Diplomats, reporters and U.N. agencies visited northern Syria in a government-sponsored trip on Monday. The war-battered town of Jisr al-Shugur was virtually deserted.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says Syrian officials agreed to give the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent wider access to areas of unrest and that the government has "expressed its readiness" to discuss ICRC visits to detainees.

Opinion: Obama can't 'lead from behind' on Syria

Roots of unrest: More than 1,100 people may have died since the unrest began in mid-March after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. As the crackdown intensified, demonstrators changed their demands from calls for "freedom," "dignity" and an end to abuses by the security forces to calls for the regime's overthrow. On April 19, Syria's cabinet lifted an emergency law, which had been in effect since 1963. But security forces then moved quickly to crack down. Government opponents allege massive human rights abuses.

FULL POST

Adviser: President Saleh to return to Yemen Friday
June 21st, 2011
08:42 AM ET

Adviser: President Saleh to return to Yemen Friday

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is being treated in Saudi Arabia after an attack on his compound, will return to Yemen on Friday, a senior adviser told CNN.

Saleh and other senior officials were injured June 3 in an attack on the mosque at the presidential palace and are being treated in Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has been consumed by unrest for months as protesters have demanded an end to Saleh's rule. In recent weeks, government troops have battled both anti-government tribal forces and Islamic militants, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

GPS: Yemen's battle of the sons

Post by:
Filed under: Yemen
June 20th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

GPS: Corruption and the Arab spring

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

SYRIA

- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday offered vague promises of reform and clear threats against protesters. The Syrian leader said he was "working on getting the military back to their barracks as soon as possible" but also warned that the government would "work on tracking down everyone who shed blood or plotted in shedding the blood of the Syrian people, and we will hold them accountable." He raised the possibility of amending the country's constitution and referred to the need for a "national dialogue" - but made clear that his government would not engage in one-on-one talks with the opposition.

- Human rights activist Malath Aumran claimed that security forces attacked people at Aleppo University and arrested more than 50 students, some of whom were protesting against the Assad speech. CNN could not independently confirm the report.

- The European Union Monday condemned "in the strongest possible terms the worsening violence in Syria." The EU appealed to Syrian authorities to "put an immediate end to arbitrary arrests and intimidations, release all those arrested in connection with protests, as well as other political prisoners who remain in detention despite the recent amnesty."

- Syria's state news agency on Monday claimed a mass grave in Jisr al-Shugur - where thousands of people have fled a Syrian military offensive - contained "bodies of the martyrs of security forces and police who were assassinated by the armed terrorist gangs." The state news agency said a large cache of weapons had been discovered in the town, which is situated near the Turkish border.

Roots of unrest: More than 1,100 people may have died since the unrest began in mid-March after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. As the crackdown intensified, demonstrators changed their demands from calls for "freedom," "dignity" and an end to abuses by the security forces to calls for the regime's overthrow. On April 19, Syria's cabinet lifted an emergency law, which had been in effect since 1963. But security forces then moved quickly to crack down. Government opponents allege massive human rights abuses.

FULL POST

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country
Syrian refugees in a camp on the Turkish border protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday.
June 16th, 2011
01:28 PM ET

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

[Updated 1:28 p.m.] Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

SYRIA

The number of Syrian refugees now in Turkey stands at 8,904, Turkish emergency officials said on Thursday.

This increase comes as Turkish government officials, such as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, met with a special Syrian envoy to help stem the growing tide of refugees.

The U.N. human rights office called for "a thorough probe into the allegations of widespread abuses committed by Syrian authorities during their violent crackdown."

A preliminary report prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that as of mid-June, the number of those killed during such incidents is believed to have exceeded 1,100 persons, many of them unarmed civilians; among them were women and children." That's over a period of three months.

The OHCHR said reports indicate than up to 10,000 people have been detained over three months, and it has received information that security forces "have perpetrated acts of torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment against detainees, resulting in death in custody in some cases."

Syrian civilian: Why is our president killing us?

The report, which covers the period from March 15 to Wednesday, is based on data from U.N. agencies. human rights activists, a small number of victims and witnesses, and various groups. The OHCHR said it had to rely on these sources because it hasn't been able to get staffers "on the ground in Syria."

Roots of Unrest: More than 1,100 people may have died since the unrest began in mid-March after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. As the crackdown intensified, demonstrators changed their demands from calls for "freedom," "dignity" and an end to abuses by the security forces to calls for the regime's overthrow. On April 19, Syria's Cabinet lifted an emergency law, which had been in effect since 1963. But security forces then moved quickly to crack down. Government opponents allege massive human rights abuses.

Opinion: What could shake Syria's regime?

FULL POST

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country
Syrian refugees make their way to the Turkish border. The U.N. said 10,000 Syrians have fled into neighboring countries.
June 15th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Arab Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

SYRIA

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to huddle with a special Syrian envoy on Wednesday in an effort to help stem the growing tide of refugees racing into Turkey from conflict-wracked Syria. The number of Syrians who have crossed the border now stands at 8,421, according to Turkey's disaster and emergency management directorate.

CNN reporter, briefly in Syria, hears 'horror' stories

That flight has been spurred by violence and a military offensive in the conflict-scarred country, and Turkey is worried that the border crisis could deteriorate and destabilize the region.

Of the refugees, 4,368 are children and 73 Syrians are now being treated in Turkish hospitals, the emergency directorate said. More than 1,230 tents have been set up in a number of locations.

Actress Angelina Jolie, a longtime goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency, has submitted an application to visit the refugees in Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal confirmed to CNN by phone. He says the government is "evaluating" the request.

GPS: The consequences of Syrian refugees in Turkey

Roots of Unrest: More than 1,100 people may have died since the unrest began in mid-March after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. As the crackdown intensified, demonstrators changed their demands from calls for "freedom," "dignity" and an end to abuses by the security forces to calls for the regime's overthrow. On April 19, Syria's Cabinet lifted an emergency law, which had been in effect since 1963. But security forces then moved quickly to crack down. Government opponents allege massive human rights abuses.

Analysis: Why U.N. won't act against Syria

FULL POST

June 14th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been swept up in protests against longtime rulers since the January revolt that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In many cases, these demonstrations and movements have been met with brute force and escalated into seemingly unending violence.

Here are the latest developments from each country and information on the roots of the unrest.

LIBYA

NATO refused to say Tuesday whether or not it would bomb ancient Roman ruins in Libya if it knew Moammar Gadhafi was hiding military equipment there. The alliance recently extended its mission - officially to protect civilians in Libya from Gadhafi's efforts to crush an uprising that has left rebels in control of parts of the country - for another 90 days, into September.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany formally recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council as the representative of the Libyan people, putting Berlin in line with the United States, France, Italy and a handful of other countries. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed for diplomatic support for the rebels at a meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The UAE has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate Libyan government.

After a siege of nearly two months, rebels have freed the city of Al-Rayyana, northeast of Zintan, said rebel fighter Talha Al-Jiwali. Nine rebels were killed, and 35 were wounded.

What should NATO bomb first, soldiers or Gadhafi himself?

Roots of Unrest: Protests in Libya started in February when demonstrators, fed up with delays, broke into a housing project the government was building and occupied it. Gadhafi's government responded with a $24 billion fund for housing and development. A month later, more demonstrations were sparked when police detained relatives of those killed in an alleged 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison, according to Human Rights Watch. High unemployment and demands for freedom have also fueled the protests.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Arab unrest: developments • Libya • Syria • Tunisia • Yemen
U.S. resumes airstrikes in Yemen; top insurgent believed dead
Armed dissident tribesmen patrol a damaged area in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday.
June 9th, 2011
11:28 AM ET

U.S. resumes airstrikes in Yemen; top insurgent believed dead

The United States has resumed airstrikes in Yemen and believes it killed a top al Qaeda insurgent there, a U.S. military official said on Thursday.

Abu Ali al-Harithi, "described as one of the most dangerous al Qaeda commanders in Shabwa province," has been killed in Yemeni security operations, state-run TV reported on Thursday, citing an official military source. The New York Times reported on Thursday that American jets killed him in an airstrike last Friday.

A U.S. military official with knowledge of the Yemen campaign told CNN that U.S. military-led air operations recently resumed after a pause of some months.

He also said the United States believes it likely killed al-Harithi in an airstrike in southern Yemen in recent days. But he cautioned its "very difficult" to confirm the killing.

FULL STORY
Post by: ,
Filed under: U.S. • Yemen
June 9th, 2011
09:46 AM ET

U.S. ramps up secret campaign against militants in Yemen

U.S. military-led air operations in Yemen have recently resumed after a pause of some months, a U.S. military official with knowledge of the Yemen campaign told CNN Thursday.

He said the pause was because the United States didn't have faith in the information available "to conduct targeting against individuals in Yemen during that time frame." He could not say what led to the improved intelligence picture.

He also said the United States believes it likely killed Abu Ali Al-Harithi, a midlevel al Qaeda operative, in an airstrike in southern Yemen in recent days. But he cautioned it is "very difficult" to confirm the killing.

Nine Islamic militants and four Yemeni soldiers were killed in clashes overnight in the militant-held town of Zinjibar, a senior security official loyal to the Yemeni government said.

"The government is still trying to retake the governmental sites that were occupied by the militants," the official said.

The country has been wracked for weeks by anti-government demonstrations in big cities, fighting between the government and tribal forces and the activities of Islamic insurgents.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh and other senior Yemeni officials were wounded on Friday when the mosque at the presidential compound was attacked during Friday prayers.

Saleh is undergoing medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. Tareq Al-Shami, the ruling party spokesmen, said the president will be back in Yemen "within days and is now in very good health."

FULL STORY
Post by: ,
Filed under: Military • World • Yemen
June 3rd, 2011
10:10 AM ET

Yemeni prime minister, six top officials hurt in shelling at presidential palace

[Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET] Yemen's president, prime minister and other senior government officials were injured on Friday during the shelling of the presidential compound in Sanaa, a government spokesman said.

This comes as government forces and tribesmen slugged it out in the capital and demonstrators poured onto the streets of the impoverished country to demand that the President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

Saleh sustained a slight injury to the head in an attack on the mosque in the presidential palace, but he is fine, a senior government official told CNN. The president plans to address the media later on Friday.

Government spokesman Tareq al-Shami said Prime Minister Ali Mujawar, the parliament speaker, deputy prime minister, and the Sanaa governor were among seven injured.

"The officials were praying when the shelling hit a mosque in the presidential compound. A number of the injured are in serious condition," Tareq al-Shami, a government spokesman, said.

It was not immediately clear whether Saleh was among the seven Al-Shami mentioned.

Tribal fighters and the regime's forces in Sanaa had been battling with missiles.

The fighters shot missiles at the presidential palace and the government responded by launching missile strikes on a dissident tribal leader's property.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Yemen
« older posts
newer posts »