Al-Qaida offers reward for capturing or killing 12 Yemeni military officers
The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing announced a 25,000-U.S.-dollar reward for anyone who can kill 12 government military officers or provide information of their locations in a statement distributed to local residents in the flashpoint southern province of Abyan on Tuesday.
In the statement, which was obtained by Xinhua, the group said they were preparing to fight battles with the Yemeni government and its security and army forces.
The declared reward were for 12 "wanted" military officers, including commander of the 25th Machined brigade, commander of Al- Anad Military Base, Staff Major General of Al-Anad, director of military operations of Al-Anad, commander of the squadron Air Force of Al-Anad military Basean, three military pilots and four senior military officers of Al-Anad.
The group vowed in the statement to chase all those officers, whom they blamed for leading the month-long battles against the al- Qaida in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)'s hideouts in Zinjibar, the provincial city of Abyan, which reportedly left more than 200 people dead from both sides. There was no immediate comment from the government as the military forces continued on Tuesday to shell the rest strongholds of the resurgent AQAP in two main cities of Abyan, Zinjibar and Jaar, about 480 km south of the capital Sanaa.
The ongoing battles forced over 30,000 residents to flee to the neighboring province of Aden, which was already gripped by severe shortages in fuel, water, electricity and medical supplies due to the five-month-long unrest that called for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, according to a recent report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.