New attacks hit government facilities in Marib, Al-Raimi still alive [Archives:2007/1076/Front Page]
SANA'A, August 12 ) Yemeni officials denied on Friday that the Marib electricity station has been subjected to a shell attack.
“Some random bullets have been shot from a far distance at the power generator that supplies the province with power, causing slight damages,” the security director of Marib province, Mohammed Al-Ghadra, stated.
Marib governor, Aref Al-Zuka reported that “some adherents to Al-Qaeda” fired shots from the distance towards the station and one of the security checkpoints, wounding a citizen who was passing by on the highway. Al-Zuka affirmed there were no damages to the station, adding that security personnel in Marib pursued the offenders in order to bring them before the relevant authorities.
According to security sources the attack, which occurred early Thursday morning, was carried out by gunmen who shot at a government building and police checkpoints around the town of Marib, located east of Sana'a.
Local and international media reported that Islamic militants utilized rocket-propelled grenades and other explosives to bomb the main power station in Marib, leaving the whole town in darkness overnight. Security officials suspect the gunmen were either Al-Qaeda militants or sympathizers.
The attack occurred a day after Yemeni counterterrorism forces killed four Al-Qaeda militants suspected to be involved in a car bomb attack that left eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis dead in Marib July 2.
An official source from the Ministry of Interior stated Friday that terrorists killed in a security raid Wednesday were planning further attacks. The source identified the suspects as Ali bin Ali Naser Doha, Naji Ali Jaradan, Abdul-Aziz Saeed Jaradan, Amer Hassan Saleh and Amar Obada al-Waeli.
The official source stated that the first three men were involved in terrorist attacks on Safer refinery in Marib and Al-Dhaba refinery in Hadramout last September, killing the assistant director of the criminal investigation in Marib and concealing terrorist escapees.
Qassem Al-Raimi, who escaped from a Sana'a prison in February 2006 and was one of the accused in the attack on Spanish tourists at Sun Temple, was not among the Al-Qaeda operatives killed in this security mission, Al-Zuka stated.
He explained that fingerprints of the four dead Al Qaeda members did not match Al-Raimi and therefore he is still a fugitive.
In related news, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen has warned Americans to reduce their profile because the country is experiencing “previously unseen” terrorist activity. In a message sent Monday to Americans living in Yemen, the embassy stated that the current terrorist threat was not temporary.
The message urged Americans to avoid large groups of Westerners, vary their travel routes and times to and from work and limit travel within the capital, Sana'a. “We are now experiencing terrorist actions previously unseen in Yemen,” the message read, also reminding Americans that there is an “active” Al-Qaeda presence in Yemen and Western interests “may continue to be targeted.”