SANAA — Yemen has foiled a plot by an Al-Qaeda-linked cell to carry out attacks inside the capital Sanaa and seized 40 belts packed with explosives, the mayor said on Wednesday, highlighting the risks posed by militancy in the impoverished Arab state.
The Defense Ministry said seven militants had also been detained in the southern town of Jaar, where a suicide bomber killed 45 tribal fighters earlier this week and threatened further attacks on a bigger scale.
Yemen declared victory in June over militants calling themselves Ansar Al-Shariah, following a US-backed military campaign that drove the fighters from their strongholds in the southern province of Abyan, where they had gained a foothold.
But militants have shown they continue to pose a serious threat, despite losing control over several towns they had seized while former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was grappling with protests that eventually toppled him. “A group of the cell’s members was arrested and the rest are being pursued,” the mayor of Sanaa, Abdul Qader Hilal, said.
The seven men arrested separately in Jaar included a Somali national and a militant leader known as Abu Musaab who was responsible for Al-Qaeda’s finances in Abyan, the Defense Ministry said on its website. — Reuters