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Eight militants dead, air strikes intensify.

SANA'A, Aug. 8 -- Air raids targeting Al-Qaeda militants intensified during the past two days in Abyan, Hadramout and Bida'a.

The Ministry of Defense confirmed on its website that two militants were killed in an air raid in Qotn city in Hadramout on Tuesday night.

The ministry said the raid targeted the two militants in a vehicle loaded with large quantities of explosive devices. The ministry indicated that the militants were prepared to carry out acts in Hadramout using the explosives. The ministry reported that the raid resulted in two dead, and the vehicle sustained damages.

Air strikes in Al-Masaneh area targeted Abdullah Awad Al-Maseri, known as Abu Osama Al-Maribi, a leader of Al-Qaeda in Beida'a.

Sheikh Ahmed Zaid, a tribal leader in Rada'a district, said, "Planes flew sporadically on Tuesday in Al-Masaneh in Beida'a governorate and carried out air raids on militants on a motorcycle, resulting in immediate death." He said one of the two dead militants is Al-Maseri.

He also said air raids on Tuesday occurred in the Sailat Al-Garah and Walad Rabee'a areas, but no information was provided about casualities.

State-run Saba News Agency reported that Al-Maseri, considered one of the most dangerous leaders of Al-Qaeda in Beida'a, was in charge of an explosive plant.

The agency said the air raid resulted in six militant deaths, representing different nationalities. The militants are Abu Ja'far Al-Iraqi, a Bahraini; Abu Al-Bara'a Al-Shorori, a Saudi; Abu Mosa'ab Al-Maseri, an Egyptian; Abu Hafsa Al-Maseri, an Egyptian; Abu Hafsa Al-Tonesi, a Tunisian; and Ibraheem Al-Sakhi, a Yemeni.

The Ministry of Defense said a security campaign, launched in coordination with the People's Committees--civilian fighters who back the military--arrested eight suspects linked to Al-Qaeda. One of them was reportedly caught in a closet, in Al-Salam area, Jaar, on Tuesday after storming several houses.

The ministry reported that preliminary investigations with previously arrested militants led to the location of those arrested Tuesday. This increases the number of caught militants to 16.

Air raids on Al-Qaeda strongholds come after Al-Qaeda affiliates spread in Abyan, carrying out of a suicide bombing this past week that resulted in more than 45 deaths of People's Committees' fighters in the governorate. The bombing occurred during a condolence service by Abdulatif Al-Sayed, head of the People's Committees in Jaar.

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Publication:Yemen Times (Sana'a, Yemen)
Date:Aug 9, 2012
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