US terror drones, Yemeni army kill 23
About two dozen people have been killed in attacks by the Yemeni army and US assassination drones in southern and eastern Yemen.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry said on Monday that the army shelled suspected militants in the southern province of Abyan.
The attack occurred near the city of Loder late on Sunday, killing 13 people.
At least three others were killed in an airstrike on several vehicles in a remote desert region in the eastern province of Marib, the Yemeni Defense Ministry said.
Also on Sunday, a strike by a US assassination drone killed three people in the southern province of Shabwa.
Local sources said that four more people lost their lives when a Yemeni jet attacked their vehicles in Loder.
About 275 people have been killed in fighting and airstrikes in southern Yemen over the past two weeks.
The government says the goal of the attacks is to foil potential threats by al-Qaeda — a claim that has not been independently confirmed.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in February under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity after nearly a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.
His vice president, UK-trained Field Marshal Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, replaced him on February 25 following a single-candidate presidential election backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Hadi will serve for an interim two-year period as stipulated by the power transfer deal.
On April 6, Hadi dismissed nearly 20 high-ranking officers, including the commander of the country’s air force, Saleh’s half-brother Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, but did not replace Saleh’s son, nephew, and other allies, who head important military units.
So far, Al-Ahmar has refused to step down from his post.
Currently, Saleh’s eldest son Ahmed commands the elite Republican Guard, his nephew Yehya heads the central security services, and another nephew, Tariq, controls the Presidential Guard.
Yemenis have repeatedly staged demonstrations across the country to demand the political restructuring of the country and the dismissal of members of Saleh’s regime from their government posts.
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