Al-Qaida said to be planning Sanaa attacks

SANAA, Yemen, April 2 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida militants in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa are planning to attack security leaders and facilities, security and military sources said. reported the militants are believed to be planning attacks in response to attacks on their hideouts in the southern Yemen provinces of Shabwa and Abyan.


American interests in the country also are believed to be among al-Qaida targets because the militants see U.S. military intervention in Yemen as an act of war.

Meanwhile, Yemen's Interior Ministry warned on its Web site of a possible terrorist attack in Sanaa.

On Sunday, explosions rocked Sanaa and gunfire erupted.

Residents said they heard an explosion and saw black smoke coming from General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar's military base about 10:30 p.m. The general had been loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime but has supported the revolutionaries since March.

Mohsen has been targeted by the regime. Days before the explosion and gunfire Sunday, Yehia Mohamed Saleh, Saleh's nephew and head of the Central Security Forces, said on his Facebook page he wanted to behead Mohsen and prominent cleric Sheikh Abdel Mageed al-Zindani. Zindani is considered a terrorist by the United States for his suspected ties to al-Qaida.


A surprise attack Sunday led by Ansar al-Sharia, an offshoot of al-Qaida in the region of Hadramaut, killed five Yemeni soldiers and critically injured many more. On Saturday, in Abyan, 30 troops died in clashes.

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