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Dozens of Yemenis Killed While Fighting Erupts in Amran, Abyan, Hadramout Between Army Forces and Huthi Fighters

July 8, 2014

Huthi Yemeni militants launched a missile attack on Saudi border guards, July 2014 Huthi Yemeni militants blew up the headquarters of the Islah Party in Amran, July 2014

Yemeni opposition fighters in Abyan, July 2014, Yemen Times  

Border crossing in Hadramout attacked by militants

Madiha Al-Junaid (author)

SANA’A, July 7, 2014 —

Unidentified militants carried out a suicide attack on July 4 at Hadramout’s Al-Wadia border crossing linking Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The militants detonated a car bomb and used heavy weaponry, leaving several dead and injured.

A security operations officer in Seyoun who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to make public statements, said that the attack resulted in the death of one soldier and injury of a civilian on the Yemeni side.

The state-run Saba News Agency reported that a second security officer was also wounded.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on its website a total of four dead security officers including a Saudi commander on border patrol. It added that nine security officers were injured.  

Five of the criminals were killed and six were injured and arrested,” the SPA claimed.

The Seyoun security source said that the militants began their attack by firing on the border post.

“After that, a bomb-laden car entered the border post and exploded, causing confusion among security forces,” he added.

The state-run Saba News Agency stated that two of the attackers’ vehicles drove towards Sharoorah governorate in Saudi Arabia following the assault.

The Wadia border crossing was reopened on July 5.

Maintaining the security of the 1,800 kilometers long Yemeni-Saudi border has long presented a challenge for both countries. The most prominent security threats include human and drugs trafficking. Since 2003, Saudi Arabia has been trying to complete a fence running along its border with Yemen but has faced obstacles from farmers who oppose the project. They argue that it will prevent them from accessing pastures for their livestock.


Seven soldiers killed in two attacks in Abyan, Hadramout

Yemen Times, Ali Ibrahim Al-Moshki (author)

SANA’A, July 7, 2014 —

Seven soldiers were killed and four injured in two separate attacks on Sunday in Abyan and Hadramout governorates in southern Yemen, according to local military sources.

One soldier was killed and four others injured when gunmen attacked a security compound in Hajr district of Hadramout on Sunday, according to the state-run Saba News Agency.

Mohammed Shamlol, a local journalist in Hadramout, said the explosions and attacks are likely the work of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been active in Hadramout recently. 

Also on Sunday, in Abyan a group of soldiers ambushed a military vehicle of the 39th Armored Division at the entrance of the Dhaiqa valley of Al-Mahfad district, killing the six soldiers on board, according to Fahd Ahmed, a soldier from the Fourth Military Command in Abyan. “I cannot confirm the gunmen belong to Al-Qaeda because the investigations are still ongoing.

The information about who did the attack is still incomplete,” said Ahmed. He continued, “the 39th Armored Division has been in Al-Mahfad since the beginning of the military campaign that began on April 29 in Abyan and Shabwa, pursuing Al-Qaeda militants. The soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission in the Dhaiqa valley.”  

Al-Mahfad was one of AQAP’s main strongholds after its militants took over Abyan in the middle of 2011. The army expelled the militants in mid-2012.

Although the alleged AQAP militants maintain a presence in Al-Mahfad, the Ministry of Defense said the military campaign has purged the area of AQAP. Dozens of soldiers have been reported dead since the beginning of the campaign. Abdu Al-Salam Al-Saribi, a former resident of Al-Mahfad who moved to Lawder, claimed AQAP militants still live in the mountains and valleys of Al-Mahfad.

The Yemeni government has yet to assign blame for either of the incidents. In addition to Al-Qaeda militants, other armed groups are active in the area, including those linked to the Southern Movement.

On June 13, one soldier was killed and nine others injured when a bomb-laden car exploded at a military location at the entrance of Al-Mahfad.


Dozens killed as fierce clashes engulf Amran

Yemen Times, 8 July 2014

Amal Al-Yarisi (author)

SANA’A, July 6, 2014 –

Amran governorate witnessed a momentary cessation of hostilities on Sunday following fierce fighting between Houthi rebels and an alliance of the 310th Armored Brigade and Sunni tribesmen.   

A military official who spoke to the Yemen Times on condition of anonymity said that the latest spate of violence broke out on July 4, after the Houthis attacked a security checkpoint of the 310th Armored Brigade located in the Al-Arbaeen area of Amran.  

The official added that this most recent violence has been the fiercest so far, reaching strategically important locations in Amran, including hotels, a government compound, a college and state-run factories, and leaving dozens killed and injured.  

The Yemen Times received local reports claiming that the road to Sana'a has intermittently been closed since July 4. Some citizens of Amran city are reportedly waiting to flee the fighting once the road re-opens.

The commander of the Reserve Forces, General Ali Al-Jayfi, sent five battalions to Amran to back the 310th Armored Brigade on Sunday evening, according to Hussein Barman, a senior state official in Amran’s local government.

The reinforcements were deployed to various military positions within Amran, according to Barman.

In a televised speech on Thursday, Houthi leader Abdulmalek Bader Al-Deen Al-Houthi, accused the Islah Party of obstructing a ceasefire agreement proposed by the Defense Ministry on June 23. He compared members of Islah with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

On Sunday the Islah party’s website,, released a statement by Saeed Shamsan, head of the Islah Political Department, calling on the Houthis to cease fighting the government.

“The continuous bloodshed resulting from Houthis’ fight against the soldiers, residents and state institutions of several areas in Yemen causes the government, the Yemeni people and also the international community to oppose them...,” he added.

Amer Al-Marani, a negotiator for the Houthis, blamed Brigadier Hameed Al-Qushaibi, commander of the 310th Armored Brigade, for the collapse of the latest ceasefire agreement.  

“The agreement would have succeeded if Al-Qushaibi agreed to hand over the locations under his control,” he explained.

Since March 2014 the Houthis have demanded that the state replace leading government officials in Amran.

President Hadi partly conceded to the Houthis' demands by appointing Mohammed Saleh Shamlan as as the new governor of Amran on June 8.

However, Brigadier Al-Qushaibi, who the Houthis allege is acting in the interests of Islah, has so far remained in power.

“The [310th Brigade] has turned into a brigade that isn't associated with the Defense Ministry. The state should replace the brigade’s current leadership with an independent brigadier,” said Al-Marani.

The presidential committee that proposed the ineffective ceasefire agreement on June 23 held an emergency meeting on the morning of Sunday, July 6, to discuss the situation in Amran and other fighting fronts near Sana'a, according to the state-run Saba News Agency.

Representatives of the Houthis and the senior adviser to the UN Special Envoy to Yemen attended the meeting, according to Saba News.

"The committee calls on all parties to stop worsening the security situation and to stop attacks on state institutions and innocent residents in Amran. It deems any attack against the city and its residents a red line that cannot be crossed,” the committee explained.

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