5 Yemeni troops killed in suspected Al-Qaeda attack

A Saudi soldier walks along the Kingdom’s border with Yemen in this file photo. (Reuters)
Updated 16 July 2017
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5 Yemeni troops killed in suspected Al-Qaeda attack

ADEN, Yemen: Five Yemeni soldiers were killed and three wounded Sunday when suspected Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen opened fire on a military checkpoint, an army source said.
The source said the gunmen managed to escape after the attack on the checkpoint in the northeast of Shabwa province, a southern stronghold of Yemen’s powerful Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Sunday’s attack is the latest in a string of suspected AQAP shootings targeting military checkpoints and outposts in Yemen.
AQAP, seen by the US as the global terror network’s most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen’s government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in Shabwa.
A US air raid on the province last month killed AQAP leader Abu Khattab Al-Awlaqi, according to the Pentagon.
The US has intensified its air attacks on suspected AQAP sites in Yemen since President Donald Trump took office in January.
Yemen’s government, allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has for years been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for control of the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Yemen conflict, most of them civilians, since 2015.
The country has also been hit by a deadly cholera outbreak and is on the edge of famine.


HRW: Egypt fight against Daesh threatens humanitarian crisis

Updated 23 April 2018
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HRW: Egypt fight against Daesh threatens humanitarian crisis

  • Human Rights Watch said the offensive has left up to 420,000 residents in four northeastern cities in urgent need of humanitarian aid
  • Daesh group has killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians, mainly in its North Sinai stronghold but also elsewhere in Egypt

BEIRUT: Egypt’s military operations against an affiliate of the Daesh group in North Sinai is threatening to spark a humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
The offensive launched on February 9 “has left up to 420,000 residents in four northeastern cities in urgent need of humanitarian aid,” said the New York-based organization.
The campaign “has included imposing severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods in almost all of” North Sinai, HRW said in a report.
“Residents say they have experienced sharply diminished supplies of available food, medicine, cooking gas, and other essential commercial goods.”
The authorities conducting the campaign, dubbed “Sinai 2018,” have also banned the sale of gasoline for cars in the area “and cut telecommunication services for several days at a time,” the report said.
Human Rights Watch also said authorities had “cut water and electricity almost entirely in the most eastern areas of North Sinai, including Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed.”
“A counterterrorism operation that imperils the flow of essential goods to hundreds of thousands of civilians is unlawful and unlikely to stem violence,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the organization’s Middle East and North Africa director.
“The Egyptian army’s actions border on collective punishment,” she added.
Since the launch of the offensive, the military has distributed images of forces providing humanitarian assistance to people living in the area.
According to the military, residents support the campaign and many have come forward with useful information to help the authorities neutralize the militants.
Security forces have stepped up efforts to quell attacks by an Egyptian militant group that later declared allegiance to Daesh since Islamist president Muhammad Mursi was deposed in 2013. Mursi was forced out by the military, following mass protests against him.
The group has killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians, mainly in its North Sinai stronghold but also elsewhere in Egypt.
More than 100 militant and at least 30 soldiers have been killed in the ongoing operation, according to army figures.