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Yemen to prosecute Al Qaida suspects

The suspects are accused of assassinating security officials

Gulf News

Sana’a: The Yemeni capital’s Criminal Prosecution has begun taking legal action against suspects belonging to three cells of Al Qaida accused of killing security officials. The Prosecution on Monday referred four suspected militants to court. The state news agency reported that the prosecution accused Mohammad Abdu Aziz Hamod Al Arifi, Mohammad Mansour Al Arifi, Usama Mansour Al Arifi and Yousuf Khalid Al Arifi of joining an illegal group affiliated with Al Qaida and assassinating security and army officers.

According to the indictment, the defendants had engaged in assassinations, preparing bombs and explosive belts and attacking security and army officers in the provinces of Shabwa and Abyan from early 2011 to March 2013.

The agency said that they were arrested four months ago in Wasab, Dhamar province, carrying explosive belts and bombs. The same Prosecution referred on Tuesday five Saudi members of Al Qaida to the court for trial.

The ministry of defence’s official website reported that the defendants were accused of attacks on armed forces personnel, security and military facilities and falsifying official documents. The defendants, who are said to have illegally entered Yemen, were identified as Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Shihri, Adel Saleh Salem, Mohammad Saleh Saeed, Aden Badi Al Atabi and Ali Saeed Omer Al Sairi.

In another case, the capital’s Court of First Instance adjourned on Sunday the sentencing of 16 defendants to early October. The defendants were accused of trying to assassinate the head of Political Security (intelligence) and other security officers. Saba news agency did not mention the defendants’ names.

The Yemen government usually blames Al Qaida for carrying out hit-and run attacks against security officers.

According to local media figures, 136 intelligence personnel, including 86 officers, have been killed in the last four years. The latest victim was Colonel Hussain Al Mansouri who was shot dead on Friday night in Labous district, in the southern province of Lahij.