Al Qaeda claims attacks in Yemen oil province
Dubai, August 8, 2010
Al Qaeda's Yemen-based arm said it was behind two attacks that killed at least 11 soldiers in an oil province last month, and threatened more strikes on government targets.
The attacks in the southern Shabwa province on July 22 and 25 were among five raids on state targets since June which have been blamed on the resurgent militant group.
Officials have said Al Qaeda may have been also behind an attack that killed three soldiers on Thursday.
"Anyone who stands with (Yemeni President) Ali Saleh and his government, and with the Crusader (Western) campaign is against our Muslim people is our enemy and a legitimate target for us," Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in a statement posted on an Islamist website on Saturday.
Another statement claimed responsibility for the attack on a military convoy in Shabwa on July 22 in which militants killed at least five soldiers and seized their vehicle and weapons.
The group previously focused its high-impact strikes on foreign targets but has started to aim at the state in response to enhanced US-Yemeni cooperation in a crackdown that has included air strikes and raids.
Al Qaeda's Yemen-based regional wing earlier claimed responsibility for a failed suicide bombing of a US-bound plane in December, focusing Western security concerns on the impoverished Arab country, which is a neighbour of top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
Yemen, which is also struggling with rebels in the north and a rising separatist movement in the south, is under international pressure to quell those two domestic conflicts and focus on the resurgent Al Qaeda wing in the country. - Reuters