11 Tribesmen Killed in Two South Yemen Suicide Attacks

Eleven Yemeni tribesmen were killed overnight in two suicide attacks in the southern province of Abyan, a stronghold of Al-Qaida, tribal sources and medics told AFP on Sunday.

Tribal sources accused Al-Qaida members of carrying out the attacks in two villages of Abyan province, where Yemeni tribesmen and the army have been battling militants from the "Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law)" who are believed to be close to the Al-Qaida network.

A suicide bomber killed Sheikh Abu Bahr Ashal, the chief of Ashal tribe, and two others as he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing when he approached them while they chewed the local soft narcotic qat in Moudia, east of Zinjibar -- the provincial capital mostly seized by militants since May.

The bodies of Ashal and one of his companions were torn into pieces due to the intensity of the explosion, while the third, a soldier, succumbed to his wounds in hospital, a tribal source told AFP.

A medical source confirmed the death toll.

Meanwhile, eight people were killed and 20 others wounded when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a post of armed tribesmen in the area of Arkub, near the town of Shaqra, which was taken over by extremist militants last week, a tribal source said.

A medical source said that seven of the wounded sustained serious injuries and were taken to a hospital in the neighboring province of Baida.

Yemeni tribesmen siding with government forces have in past weeks been locked in battle with suspected Al-Qaida militants in Abyan, especially in Zinjibar.

The army has been battling the Partisans of Sharia militants, who have besieged its 25th Mechanized Brigade base in Zinjibar since May.

Apart from Shaqra and Zinjibar, Islamist gunmen control the village of Jaar.

Source: Agence France Presse

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