Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mortar attack hits Yemen military airport

Standard



Shells land on runway of Sanaa military airport as
tension grips country following rebel Houthis'
takeover of Sanaa .
Mortar shells have hit a military airport in the
Yemeni capital , sources tell Al Jazeera .
Al Jazeera 's Omar Al Saleh , reporting from Sanaa on
Wednesday, said three mortar rounds reportedly
struck the runway of the facility .
Sanaa International Airport is adjacent to the military
airport , which is used as a base by the Yemeni air
force .
The mortar attack came on a day that began with
reports that a senior al - Qaeda official wanted by the
US , and a local leader of the armed group's affiliate ,
Ansar al - Sharia, were killed in a drone strike in
central Yemen .
Shawki al - Badani, a leader of al - Qaeda in the Arab
Peninsula ( AQAP), was one of four people killed ,
along with Nabil al -Dahab , the leader of Ansar al -
Sharia in Yemen 's al - Bayda province , tribal sources
said on Wednesday.
The US State Department said Badani was linked to
at least two plots against the US embassy in Sanaa
and a 2012 suicide bombing in Sanaa that killed
more than 100 soldiers.
In a separate development on Wednesday, US
officials denied reports that it had ordered Ali
Abdullah Saleh , the former Yemeni
president , to leave the country or face possible
sanctions.
Saleh 's office told Al Jazeera that the 72- year- old
was given a deadline of 14:00 GMT on Friday by the
US ambassador to Yemen to leave the country or
face possible sanctions.
Saleh 's political party, the General People 's
Congress ( GPC), described the alleged decision as a
blatant interference in Yemen 's internal affairs ,
saying no country had the right to order a Yemeni
national to leave the country.
However , Jen Psaki , the US State Department
spokesperson , rejected the claims, saying "there
have been no meetings between the ambassador
and GPC officials at which any such statements have
been made ".
Saleh , whose 33 -year reign ended in 2012 after a
popular uprising , has been accused of using
Yemen 's ongoing crisis to re- establish his influence
over the country's politics .
Yemen has been gripped by insecurity since Saleh 's
overthrow, and recent weeks have seen a series of
armed attacks in Sanaa after the Shia Houthis seized
it in September .

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