Yemen suspends military operation against Al-Qaeda

Updated 31 January 2013
0

Yemen suspends military operation against Al-Qaeda

SANAA: Yemen suspended a military operation against Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the south on Wednesday while tribal leaders tried to secure the release three Western hostages the militants are holding, a tribal leader said.
About 8,000 soldiers have been taking part in the offensive, which was launched on Monday against on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) stronghold in the small town of Al-Manaseh, in Al-Bayda province south of the capital Sanaa.
The army began its offensive after the militants rejected demands to release the hostages being held in the town.
The Finnish couple and an Austrian man were snatched last month by tribesmen in Sanaa. A Yemeni official said they were later sold to Al-Qaeda members and transferred to Al-Manaseh.
“We will meet today with both parties to discuss all issues but most importantly the release of the hostages,” Sheikh Nasser Al-Aji, a tribal chief, said in a written statement about the mediation efforts with Al-Qaeda representatives.
“Fighting has stopped between the army and Al-Qaeda followers.”
Aji said the militants had demanded that the military immediately halt its attacks and retreat to base. A senior government official in Al-Bayda said the military operation would resume if the mediation efforts faltered.
Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi has assured Finland that security forces will “safely secure the release of the hostages,” Yemen’s state news agency Saba reported yesterday.
Saba reported earlier that dozens of Al-Qaeda-linked militants had been killed and injured during the offensive, without giving details.


30% increase in tourists visiting Egypt during first quarter of 2018: Minister

Updated 32 min 42 sec ago
0

30% increase in tourists visiting Egypt during first quarter of 2018: Minister

  • Tourism represents 15 percent of the country's total income
  • Tourist minister vows to engage social media 'more effectively'

CAIRO: The number of tourists visiting Egypt during the first quarter of 2018 has increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year.
Tourism minister Rania Al-Mashat said during a press conference that the tourism sector represented 15 percent of the total sources of income for the national economy.
The minister attributed the increase to the latest campaign to promote tourism in Egypt. She noted that more campaigns will be used to attract visitors in the coming months.
Al-Mashat admitted that Egypt is not using social media efficiently to promote tourism saying: “We have shortcomings in dealing with social media platforms, and our priority is to begin dealing with the issue.”