AHMED AL-HAJ | AP
Published — Friday 26 April 2013
Last update 26 April 2013 6:44 am
SANAA: A Yemeni court yesterday sentenced 11 convicted Al-Qaeda militants to up to 10 years in prison for forming armed gangs to destabilize the country and planning attacks on foreign embassies and security forces.
The sentencing came as militants attacked a military camp in the central town of Radda, about 160 km south of Sanaa, setting off clashes that killed three soldiers and eight militants. Radda was briefly seized by Al-Qaeda militants last year before the Yemeni government waged an offensive to drive them out.
The militants, who took refuge in other areas in the central province where Radda is located, have been trying to return to the town.
In the court in Sanaa, Ahmed Al-Hababi, one of the defendants, threatened to kill the judge, shouting, “we will teach you a lesson and we will drag you on the ground.” Two raised an Al-Qaeda flag inside the defendants’ cage. Others shouted “God is great” in Arabic.
In another trial yesterday, a court in Aden, Yemen’s second largest city, began trying nine Yemenis for smuggling Iranian-made weapons on a ship. Eight were captured in January in the country’s territorial waters and one was tried in absentia. The trial was adjourned until April 30.
In another development, Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned from Saudi Arabia after medical treatment.