Source: Yemen Times
A number of attacks around Yemen last week left at least 95 Yemenis dead and 110 injured.
The attacks occurred in the governorates of Sana’a, Al-Baida, Hadramout, and Taiz.
A total of 37 soldiers were killed and 38 injured between Oct. 4 and 11. Fifty-eight citizens affiliated with the Houthis—ranging from armed rebels manning checkpoints to unarmed children and mere supporters of the group’s goals—were killed and 70 injured.
On Oct. 11 three armed Houthis were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion at Al-Azaraqain checkpoint on the Sana’a-Amran road, located on the border between the two governorates, according to Hassan Mu’awadi, a Houthi member who supervises the Sana’a-Amran checkpoint in Sana’a. Mu’awadi also said that an officer was killed the same day in Al-Shiher district of Hadramout and a pro-Houthi tribal sheikh was killed in Taiz governorate.
Two soldiers in Hadramout were also killed on Oct. 11 and three others were injured in an IED explosion. The attack targeted a military vehicle from the 135th Infantry Brigade in Shibam city, according to Ahmed Al-Shumi, an officer in the brigade.
This came two days after an attack that killed 20 soldiers and injured 17 others on Oct. 9, when an alleged AQAP militant attacked a military checkpoint manned by personnel from the 27th Mechanized Brigade in Al-Abr area of Brom Maifa district in Hadramout, according to the media center of the Ministry of Interior.
Also on Oct. 9, 53 civilians and Houthi rebels were killed in Sana’a by a suicide bomber and 70 others were injured, according to the Ministry of Public Health. The suicide bomber was wearing an explosive belt and detonated the bomb at a security checkpoint in Tahrir Square in the middle of the capital during a Houthi organized protest.
The incident was widely condemned by Yemeni authorities and by Arab and foreign countries. Houthis have increased their presence in the streets on Sana’a and at entrance points to the city.
Houthi checkpoint supervisor Mu’awadi also said that on Thursday a Houthi armed man was shot dead by suspected AQAP militants in Sana’a.
One day earlier, on Oct. 8, 14 soldiers were killed and 18 others were wounded in Al-Baida in an attack carried out on military posts in the governorate by alleged AQAP members, according to the Interior Ministry.
AQAP claim responsibility, promise further action
For each of the attacks listed above AQAP claimed responsibility on its Twitter page Akhbar Ansar Al-Sharia, which translates to “news by the Supporters of Sharia,” the name used by the group in Yemen.
The attacks follow AQAP’s claim it will conduct one-hundred martyrdom operations, which it announced at a meeting between AQAP members and tribal leaders on Oct. 7 in Rada’a district of Al-Baida governorate. The meeting was held to release a Yemeni officer from Maghrib Ans district in Dhamar governorate who was kidnapped in late September.
The one-hundred martyrdom operations are to target Houthis and Yemeni authorities around the country during the coming few days, according to a leader of a tribe in Maghrib Ans who attended the meeting and spoke to the Yemen Times on condition of anonymity.
The Houthis accuse external powers of mobilizing AQAP to encourage instability in Yemen. Ali Al-Qahoom, a member of the Houthis’ Political Office, said “there are foreign parties controlling AQAP, they are intelligence elements for foreign countries moving AQAP in whichever way they want in order to turn Yemen into another Iraq.”
“We will not allow it; we will fight AQAP everywhere,” Al-Qahoom added.
He continued, “these bombings and attacks targeted the military institutions before and after the fall of Sana’a. The Houthis are just an excuse for them to target all Yemenis.”
Mohammad Hezam, the deputy director of the Public Relations Department in the Ministry of Interior, told the Yemen Times “the state has enhanced the security of all entrances and exits in all governorates as well as the security headquarters to foil [AQAP] attacks.”