Seven injured in an incident reminding of the Abyan Islamic Army:Extremists strike in Abyan [Archives:2003/644/Front Page]

June 23 2003

Aden, June 21 – Seven people were injured Saturday in an armed attack of extremists against a medical military caravan in Abyan. A statement issued by the local council in Sarar district said that an armed extremist group attacked with artilleries and rocket propelled grenades a medical military caravan distributing medicine in the area, injuring seven people consisting of a doctor, five of his assistants and the car driver. Local medical sources told the Yemen Times that they were seriously injured and that they were taken to al-Razi hospital for medical treatment. The statement pointed out that the attacking group members camped at Huttab valley before parliamentary election in last April and that they used to fire at people in the area.
Eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times that the attackers are believed to be remnants of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army (AAIA). An interior ministry official admitted the attack but unidentified people carried out the attack and said that security officers are still hunting them down to get them arrested and tried.
Sources in the Yemeni Socialist Party said that the members of the AAIA are slowly reorganizing themselves and are currently operating in Abyan. The sources claim that AAIA do have a camp at the Huttab mountainous area. However, Yemeni officials repeatedly denied that the members of the Army still exist. The Army was weakened after the execution of its leader Abu al-Hasan al-Mihdar. The government executed al-Mihdar in 1999 after trial of kidnapping some Western tourists in December 1998. Confrontation between the security officers and al-Mihdar and his people then led to the killing of some British and Australian tourists.