Yemen tribesmen kill 13 Al-Qaeda extremists

In this July 6, 2016, Yemeni tribal warriors loyal to the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Haddi are seen near Aden airport during a clash with suspected jihadists. Tribesmen on Saturday fought Al-Qaeda fighters at a town in nearby Abyan province, killed 13 of the extremists, officials said. (AFP file photo)
Updated 04 February 2017

Yemen tribesmen kill 13 Al-Qaeda extremists

ADEN, Yemen: Yemeni tribesmen on Saturday killed 13 Al-Qaeda fighters who had slipped back into a southern town hours after pulling out in the face of street protests, a security official said.
The jihadists had reemerged during the night and sought to take control of public buildings in the Abyan province town of Loder, the official said.
They met with fierce resistance from armed residents and withdrew after gunbattles lasting two hours.
Loder was one of three towns in Abyan province that Al-Qaeda fighters entered on Thursday. They withdrew from two of them on Friday in the face of warnings of resistance from local tribes.
Yemen’s powerful and heavily armed tribes play a leading role in the country’s politics and frequently determine local allegiances.
Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of nearly two years of fighting between government forces and Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa to entrench its presence in swathes of the south.
But its freedom to operate is constrained by the need to negotiate shifting tribal loyalties.


Beirut port blast crater 43 meters deep: security official

Updated 56 min 15 sec ago

Beirut port blast crater 43 meters deep: security official

  • Crater is much larger than the one left by the enormous blast in 2005 that killed former prime minister Rafic Hariri

BEIRUT: The huge chemical explosion that hit Beirut’s port, devastating large parts of the Lebanese capital and claiming over 150 lives, left a 43-meter (141 foot) deep crater, a security official said Sunday.
The blast Tuesday, which was felt across the county and as far as the island of Cyprus, was recorded by the sensors of the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS) as having the power of a magnitude 3.3 earthquake.
It was triggered by a fire in a port warehouse, where a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate, a chemical that can be used as a fertilizer or as an explosive, had languished for years, according to authorities.
The huge blast also wounded at least 6,000 people and displaced more than 300,000 from their destroyed or damaged homes.
The revelation that the chemicals had languished for years like a ticking time-bomb in the heart of the capital has served as shocking proof to many Lebanese of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.
Demonstrators on Sunday called for renewed anti-government rallies after a night of angry protests saw them storm several ministries before they were expelled by the army.
It was a new tactic for a protest movement that emerged last October to demand the removal of a political class long accused of being inept and corrupt.
“The explosion in the port left a crater 43 meters deep,” the Lebanese security official said, citing assessments by French experts working in the disaster area.
The crater is much larger than the one left by the enormous blast in 2005 that killed former prime minister Rafic Hariri, which measured 10 meters across and two meters deep, according to an international tribunal investigating his murder.
French rescue and police teams are among a much larger group of international emergency response specialists that has flooded into Lebanon to ease pressure on local authorities unable to cope with the disaster relief on their own.
Qatari, Russian and German rescuers are also working at the port blast site.