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Yemen tribesmen kill 13 Al Qaeda fighters: Official
February 05, 2017
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ADEN: Yemeni tribesmen on Saturday killed 13 Al Qaeda fighters who had slipped back into a southern town hours after pulling out in the face of street protests, a security official said.

The militants had reemerged during the night and sought to take control of public buildings in the Abyan province town of Loder, the official said.

They met with fierce resistance from armed residents and withdrew after gun battles lasting two hours.

Loder was one of three towns in Abyan province that Al Qaeda fighters entered on Thursday.

They withdrew from two of them on Friday in the face of warnings of resistance from local tribes.

Yemen’s powerful and heavily armed tribes play a leading role in the country’s politics and frequently determine local allegiances.

Al Qaeda has taken advantage of nearly two years of fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa to entrench its presence in swathes of the south. But its freedom to operate is constrained by the need to negotiate shifting tribal loyalties.

A day earlier the United States has moved a Navy destroyer to off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran, two US officials said on Friday, amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran.

The USS Cole arrived in the vicinity of the Bab Al Mandab Strait off southwestern Yemen where it will carry out patrols including escorting vessels, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

While US military vessels have carried out routine operations in the region in the past, this movement is part of an increased presence there aimed at protecting shipping from Houthis, they said.


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