Entries in Sanaa (4)


US Embassy Security Staffer Murdered in Yemen

STR/AFP/GettyImages(SANAA, Yemen) -- A U.S. embassy security team leader from Yemen was reportedly gunned down on his way to work Thursday in the Yemeni capital.

Qassem Aqlan, who headed a team tasked with protecting the American compound in the unstable nation, was killed by an unidentified gunman in Sanaa.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident involving a Yemeni employee of our embassy in Sanaa and we are working with Yemeni authorities,” a senior State Department official told reporters.

Aqlan’s death comes a month after four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in a terrorist attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

In a dramatic Congressional hearing Wednesday, State Department officials faced tough questions about whether it had failed to respond to concerns about the security of its staff in Libya, an obviously violent nation, before the attack.

U.S. officials have said the Benghazi attack may be linked to Ansar al-Sharia, a militant group with ties to the al Qaeda affiliate al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Though no groups have claimed responsibility for the murder in Yemen, officials there say the attack is characteristic of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), BBC News reports.

In recent years, top U.S. officials have said regional affiliates of the terrorist group, especially AQAP and AQIM, pose a greater threat to the U.S. homeland and American interests abroad than the “core” al Qaeda group that was led by Osama bin Laden before his death last May.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car Bomb Kills 25 As Yemen's New President Takes Office

iStockphoto/Thinkstock)(SANAA, Yemen) -- Yemen's new president Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi was formally sworn in before the country's parliament on Saturday amid violence outside the presidential complex.

Hours after Hadi took office, a car bomb exploded outside the Presidential Palace in southern Yemen killing at least 25 people.

Hadi replaced longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled the country for 33 years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Yemen Uprising: Security Forces and Protesters Clash in Sana'a

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA’A, Yemen) -- Social unrest in Yemen continued on Saturday, as demonstrators descended on Sana’a – the nation’s capital – calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Thousands of protesters came out to Taghyeer Square Saturday, resulting in a clash with Yemeni security forces. Security personnel reportedly fired gas bombs at demonstrators, causing some to suffer severe seizures. A number of people could be seen lying on the ground in need of medical treatment, and reports say approximately one thousand demonstrators were injured in the clash.

President Saleh has been in office for 32 years and on Thursday, amid calls for him to leave office, he said he was willing to re-write the country’s constitution – a move that would give parliament a more powerful role. Opposition party officials rejected Saleh’s offer, demanding that he step down.

According to reports, about 30 people have been killed in the protests which began in January.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Yemen Day of Rage

Photo Courtesy - GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANAA, Yemen) -- Thousands in the capitol of Yemen are demonstrating against what they call the corrupt and ineffective government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

An estimated 20,000 protestors have taken to the streets of Sanaa in what the opposition is calling a day of rage.  They are demanding a change in government and say President Ali Abdullah Salah's offer Wednesday to leave office in 2013 is not good enough.  Some clearly want him to step down sooner while others support entering talks on political reform.  But these protestors are not the only ones on the streets.  Thousands of Salah's supporters have come out to march and defend the president. 

But, unlike in Cairo where violence has erupted between pro and anti-government demonstrators, in Yemen no clashes have broken out between the two groups.

President Salah has ruled Yemen for over 30 years, but announced he'll step down in two years and that he won't put his son in power to succeed him.  He made those political concessions after protestors, inspired by events first in Tunisia and then in Egypt, demanded government reform and called for his ouster.  Salah has come under fierce public criticism for failing to fix staggeringly high poverty and unemployment rates and for failing to democratize. 

One of out of three Yemenis faces chronic hunger, while unemployment tops 40 percent and another 40 percent of Yemenis live on less than two dollars a day.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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