Yemen Crisis Situation Reports: Update 110

November 30, 2011

Local armed opposition groups in Yemen, including the al Houthi rebels in the north and al Qaeda militants in the south, continue to contest the power of the central Yemeni state. Further, violence against protesters is ongoing in Taiz.

Al Houthi rebels and Salafist fighters continue to clash in Damaj in Sa’ada governorate. A Salafist spokesman, Abu Ismail, reported that al Houthis attacked early in the morning. At least 26 people were injured in the latest round of fighting. President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son and commander of the Republican Guard forces, Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, issued directives to end the armed conflict in Sa’ada.

Fighting began anew between loyalist Yemeni troops and opposition tribesmen in Taiz. Witnesses reported that dozens of people were injured during an exchange of machine gunfire and artillery. At least one person was killed on November 29 in Taiz by government shelling. Heavy shelling has been ongoing in Taiz city and governorate. Opposition tribesmen responded by cutting off supplies to Khaled bin al Waleed army camp and by seizing control of the road leading from Taiz city to al Mukha district on the coast. Opposition tribesmen reportedly captured Taiz’s Cairo district director of security, Colonel Ahmed Abdo Saif, on November 27. Additionally, a commander of the 33rd brigade surrendered and a second, a brigadier general, was arrested.

Thousands of southerners turned out for a rally in Aden calling for secession from north Yemen. The rally commemorated the 44th anniversary of south Yemen’s independence from Britain. Gunmen killed two Yemeni soldiers in Khormaksar district.

Madad News Agency released its third report on al Qaeda activities in Abyan governorate. According to the report, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives were responsible for the attack on the Total gas pipeline in Shabwah governorate and that an AQAP operative had planted the car bomb that killed Yemeni air force commander, Colonel Amin al Shami, in Lahij governorate. The report also document al Qaeda militant activity in Abyan and Aden. Finally, it restated AQAP’s claim that AQAP media chief, Ibrahim al Banna, was still alive. (Post obtained and translated by SITE.)

The Yemeni army shelled al Qaeda-linked militant positions in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. Additionally, over 60 militants were reported to have fled to Jaar from Zinjibar. A local official reported that the army killed six al Qaeda-linked militants Tuesday.

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