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Missile attack angers Yemen opposition

The U.S. admission that it was behind the attack that killed six Al Qaida suspects in Yemen last Monday has provoked backlashes among many Yemenis, particularly the tribal areas.

Gulf News

The U.S. admission that it was behind the attack that killed six Al Qaida suspects in Yemen last Monday has provoked backlashes among many Yemenis, particularly the tribal areas.

The government tightened security measures around foreign embassies, especially the U.S. embassy as a precaution against retaliatory strikes.

Though the government kept silent over the U.S. declaration that the CIA was behind the attack, the opposition expressed their displeasure and anger calling the attack a "dangerous precedent" that violated Yemeni sovereignty.

"We are waiting for the government to present a complete clarification about what happened and any delay in revealing the truth will be considered lack of responsibility," said Abdul Wahab Al Ansi, assistant secretary general of Islah, the largest opposition party.

Al Ansi criticised the authorities for not being transparent enough. He said: "The security bodies try to keep the public away from the issues that concern them. If they continue dealing with public issues this way, nobody will agree with them."

Adul Ghani Adul Qader, chairman of the political circle of the socialist opposition party said "it is unfortunate that our sovereignty has been touched by military action of the first class, it should have been done by our government not by any other country."

"We are against despising the sovereignty of the country, and if this continues, the public opinion will have to determine its attitude," Abdul Qader said.

"If Marib incident is proved to have been carried out by American forces, then that will be flagrant violation of Yemeni sovereignty," confirmed Abdul Malik Al Mekhlafi, secretary general of the Nasserite Unionist Party.

"The opposition will take a strong attitude towards this dangerous operation, and if the Yemeni-American military cooperation is harmful to the nation, then the electoral platforms of the opposition parties will, no doubt, be against this cooperation," Al Mekhlafi stressed.

Dr Faris Al Saqaff, chairman of the Future Studies Centre said "It seems the Americans have their own agenda and their own policy in dealing with such issues, they wanted to tell the American public and the regimes in the region they have achieved a triumph in the hunt of terrorists."

But, he added, the announcement of the operation without coordination with Yemen had caused embarrassment for Sanaa.

"It is clear that the U.S. coordination with Sanaa has not reached the degree that considers the Yemeni sovereignty or the system in Yemen," Al Saqaff said.

The Yemeni cabinet in its weekly meeting on Tuesday neither confirmed nor denied the news that a U.S. Hellfire missile from CIA drone hit the car.

It said only it had listened to a clarification from minister of interior about the incident of the car in Marib in which six Al Qaida suspects were killed and that preliminary information suggest that Ali Qaed Senan Al Harithy, who is accused of having committed sabotage acts,was among them.

Later, senior security official were quoted as saying "the five men killed with the socalled Ali Qaed Senan Al Harithy, Abu Ali, in the incident of the car explosion in Marib, are from among the dangerous Al Qaida operatives and they are wanted by the security bodies."

Those elements have participated in planning and implementing sabotage acts, including Cole attack, which harmed the national interests of Yemen, the official said.

He made it clear that security forces are continuing their search for Mohammed Hamdi Al Ahdal, Abu Assem key Al Qaida suspect, and the second man wanted by the authorities.

The official revealed the names of the five associates killed with Abu Ali, Saleh Abu Hamam, Al Keka, Abu Al Jarah, Munair and Jalal who is nicknamed as Ahmed Hejazi. "Ahmed Hejazi is believed to have had the American citizenship," the official said.

Meanwhile, the United States welcomed President Saleh's speech in which the president repeatedly rejected all forms of terror.

"The U.S. still believes that combating terrorism in Yemen is the responsibility of the Yemeni government and U.S. will keep supporting those efforts," says a press release issued by the U.S. embassy in Sanaa.

President Saleh had called the Yemeni involved in Al Qaida network to declare their repentance and give up their styles which greatly harm the national economy and undermine security and stability and offend the reputation of the nation.

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