Map: Popular Committees in Abyan and Shabwah

July 25, 2012

Popular committees, tribal militias that often work alongside Yemeni military forces, have been most active in the area around Lawder city, where they successfully held off Ansar al Sharia attacks for months. The fight was also more intense and more personal in Lawder. Militants attacked tribal checkpoints and attempted to assassinate tribal committee leaders.[1] The committees and army managed to clear the city of Ansar al Sharia militants on May 17, 2012, though attacks against checkpoints surrounding the city continue.[2] Popular committees appeared in force in Zinjibar and Jaar in May and June, when the Yemeni army was engaged in a campaign to expel Ansar al Sharia from those cities. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi himself met with tribal leaders at the time to ask for the formation of more tribal committees, and after the victory in those areas, commended the tribes for their bravery.[3] Likewise, Shabwah committees were most active in June, during the Yemeni army’s campaign in Azzan.

Popular committees are also present in the adjoining governorates of Lahij and Dhaleh, where Ansar al Sharia has also conducted attacks, although they have not been as active.

 Click graphic to enlarge.

SOURCES

“Tribesmen kill two Qaeda suspects in south Yemen,” AFP, December 9, 2011. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iomGUaOsrXA957axdDYdRg1wNvsw?docId=CNG.fbb8ca94f85cc938635526c6dcd12ea1.421

“One killed in tribal revenge killing in Shabwah and the proliferation of tribal checkpoints to guard the road to Sana'a,” al Masdar Online, January 14, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=2&news_id=27693

“Breaking: Killed and wounded in car bomb explosion at checkpoint west of Lawder,” Aden al Ghad, April 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/9892.htm

Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Bomb kills 3 children in Yemen - defence ministry,” Reuters, April 15, 2012. Available: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/bomb-kills-3-children-in-yemen-defence-ministry

“The Army and Tribes Block an al Qaeda Attack on Lawder in Abyan and the Number of Victims Rises to 36,” al Masdar Online, April 9, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=30698

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 23 killed in clashes with al-Qaida fighters,” Associated Press, April 9, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-23-killed-clashes-al-qaida-fighters-114404184.html

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 44 killed in clashes with al-Qaida fighters,” Associated Press, April 9, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-44-killed-clashes-al-qaida-fighters-151620892.html

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 64 killed in clashes with al-Qaida fighters,” Associated Press, April 9, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-64-killed-clashes-al-qaida-fighters-184836820.html

Mohammed Mukhashaf, “25 killed in southern Yemen army-Islamist clash,” Reuters, April 9, 2012. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/09/us-yemen-clashes-idUSBRE83805H20120409

“45 al Qaeda militants killed and air raids in Abyan governorate,” al Masdar Online, April 11, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=30775

“Toll hits 177 in south Yemen battle with Qaeda,” AFP, April 12, 2012. Available: http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/toll-hits-177-south-yemen-battle-qaeda-120607407.html

“111th Brigade and sons of Lawder and al Audhali tribes foil al Qaeda's attempt to control Lawder city: 30 terrorists killed,” Albida Press, April 9, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.albidapress.net/news.php?action=view&id=19765

“Ansar al Sharia shells Lawder with artillery and tanks,” Mareb Press, April 11, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=42536

“Breaking: Popular committees and tribesmen surround Ansar al Sharia in ‘Labis’ mountain east of Mudia,” Aden Now, April 12, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.aden-now.com/?p=7636

“Tareq al Fadhli's son among al Qaeda's prisoners in Lawder,” al Hadath, April 14, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.alhadath-yemen.com/news18815.html

“Yemen army controls most of Lawder,” Samaa News, April 14, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.samaa-news.com/news9974.html

“13 al Qaeda militants killed among them 3 Somalis in Lawder,” 26 September, April 22, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://26sep.net/news_details.php?sid=81179

“Lahj: Security alert after Al-Qaeda threats,” Yemen Post, April 25, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5226&MainCat=3

“Tribal Sources: Tribal combatants carry out commando raid on al Qaeda position and ambush another killing 8 militants,” al Masdar Online, April 24, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=31281

Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Seven militants killed in Yemen clashes,” Reuters, April 28, 2012. Available: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-28/news/sns-rt-us-yemen-violencebre83r07q-20120428_1_militants-from-ansar-al-sharia-yemen-clashes-reporting-by-mohammed-mukhashaf

“18 Qaeda militants killed in Yemen fighting,” AFP, April 30, 2012. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hM4pWJKBK4ZcW0kkvNnGBSFh7tkw?docId=CNG.d71069448e07085ec4ddc48e28c4dc32.1f1

Mohammed Mukhashaf, “12 militants killed in Yemen battle, official says,” Reuters, April 30, 2012. Available: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-yemen-militantsbre83t0uf-20120430,0,3030806.story

“Pro-regime gunmen kill 12 'Al-Qaeda' militants in Yemen,” AFP, May 4, 2012. Available: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/May-04/172361-pro-regime-gunmen-kill-12-al-qaeda-militants-in-yemen.ashx#axzz1tpBtTBxX

“Dangerous Al-Qaeda operative killed in Lahj,” Yemen Post, May 7, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5311&MainCat=3

“Yemen battles 'kill 37 Qaeda militants,'” AFP, May 14, 2012. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ge6Fi3phaqtOos-jPQrg_aadgB1w?docId=CNG.ba931eaf00377ee5bd435da4bb4fc82f.831

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemeni raids kill 16 al-Qaida militants in south,” Associated Press, May 14, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemeni-raids-kill-16-al-qaida-militants-south-101424085.html

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: US gives help in new assault on al-Qaida,” Associated Press, May 15, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/us-helps-yemen-offensive-al-qaida-south-191325256.html

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 19 killed in clashes with al-Qaida fighters,” Associated Press, May 16, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-19-killed-clashes-al-qaida-fighters-132203326.html

“Breaking: The Yemeni army cleanses Lawder of al Qaeda and the people celebrate victory,” Yemen Press, May 17, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://yemen-press.com/news9309.html

Ahmed al Haj, “17 die in Yemen's push on al-Qaeda,” Associated Press, May 21, 2012. Available: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/152236165.html

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 35 al-Qaida militants killed in clashes,” Associated Press, May 24, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-35-al-qaida-militants-killed-clashes-171304466.html

“Tens of Militants Dead as Army Continues to Advance in Yemen,” Yemen Post, May 25, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5443&MainCat=3

“Four Killed in Militant Suicide Bombing in Yemen,” Yemen Post, June 4, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5500&MainCat=3

“Army foils al-Qaeda attempt to capture town,” Yemen Post, June 4, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5505&MainCat=3

“Seven Qaeda gunmen killed in south Yemen,” AFP, June 7, 2012. Available: http://www.nst.com.my/latest/seven-qaeda-gunmen-killed-in-south-yemen-1.92105#

“Violent Clashes Between Tribes and al Qaida Who Tried to Control Batis Town,” al Masdar Online, June 7, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=32894

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: New fighting in south kills 13 militants,” Associated Press, June 11, 2012. Available: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/06/11/yemen-new-fighting-south-kills-13-militants.html

Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Yemen army, in major victory, retakes two cities,” Reuters, June 12, 2012. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/12/us-yemen-jaar-idUSBRE85B0O320120612

“Abyan governorate: 300 terrorists including foreigners, glee from Jaar, Zinjibar, and Shaqra,” 26 September, June 12, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.26sep.net/news_details.php?sid=82538

Ahmed al Haj, “17 al-Qaida fighters killed in Yemen,” Associated Press, June 13, 2012. Available: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/06/13/al-qaida-fighters-killed-in-yemen-missile-attack491559

“Massive combing operation to clear remaining militants from south Yemen,” Yemen Post, June 18, 2012. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=5564

“Army and security units and Popular Committees are about to clear Azzan of terrorist al Qaeda elements,” SABA, June 23, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://sabanews.net/ar/news272783.htm

Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: Army takes new al-Qaida stronghold,” Associated Press, June 24, 2012. Available: http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-army-takes-al-qaida-stronghold-155818274.html


[1] “Breaking: Killed and wounded in car bomb explosion at checkpoint west of Lawder,” Aden al Ghad, April 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://adenalghad.net/news/9892.htm
“Member of the popular committees martyred and two injured in terrorist attack in Lawder,” 26 September, January 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.26sep.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=78790
“Al Qaeda ambushes a number of Mudia tribes and armed clashes between al Maysir and al Qaeda elements in Akd district,” Aden al Ghad, December 5, 2011 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.aden-na.org/Display.asp?page=1020&NewsID=5834#.UAg1K2G0xNu
[2] “Breaking: The Yemeni army cleanses Lawder of al Qaeda and the people celebrate victory,” Yemen Press, May 17, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://yemen-press.com/news9309.html
“Violent clashes between tribes and al Qaida who tried to control Batis,” al Masdar Online, June 7, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.net/index.php?page=news&article-section=1&news_id=32894
[3] Nasser Arrabyee, “Religious and tribal leaders try to rescue army from Al Qaeda,” Nasser Arrabyee Blog, May 9, 2012. Available: http://narrabyee-e.blogspot.com/2012/05/religious-and-tribal-leaders-try-to.html
“President of the Republic awards medal of courage to a number of military and security units and popular committees and local leaders in Abyan, Lahij and al Bayda,” SABA, June 15, 2012 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.sabanews.net/ar/news272064.htm