Al Qaeda claims credit for week­end at­tack

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

SANAA | Al Qaeda claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity on Wed­nes­day for a dar­ing week­end as­sault on a mil­i­tary base in south­ern Ye­men, killing nearly 200 sol­diers, the blood­i­est bat­tle in a year of tur­moil.

In the af­ter­math of the brazen at­tack, the U.N. en­voy to Ye­men warned Wed­nes­day that the ter­ror group has gained ground dur­ing the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal cri­sis.

Al Qaeda’s Ye­men branch said in a state­ment posted on sev­eral ji­hadi web­sites that it car­ried out the at­tack in re­ac­tion to the mil­i­tary’s plans to sweep through its strongholds in the city of Zin­jibar, the pro­vi­sional cap­i­tal of south­ern Abyan prov­ince.

The al Qaeda as­sault has stepped up pres­sure on newly in­au­gu­rated Pres­i­dent Abed Rabbo Man­sour Hadi to fol­low through on pledges to purge the army of of­fi­cers loyal to his pre­de­ces­sor, Ali Ab­dul­lah Saleh.

For the third day, tens of thou­sands of Ye­me­nis demon­strated in cities across the coun­try, de­mand­ing that Mr. Hadi pros­e­cute army com­man­ders sus­pected of neg­li­gence or col­lab­o­rat­ing with al Qaeda in the Sun­day at­tack.

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