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Hadi says Yemen has destroyed Al-Qaeda dream of Islamic emirate - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Natalia Kolesnikova, Pool)

Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks during his meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Natalia Kolesnikova, Pool)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—President Abd Rabbo Masnour Hadi has emphasized that Yemen’s security authorities and popular committees have successfully put an end to Al-Qaeda’s dream of establishing an Islamic emirate in the south of the country.

Speaking on Monday during a joint press conference with the head of the French foreign ministry’s North Africa and Middle East division, Jean-François Girault, Hadi acknowledged that his country had suffered a lot as a result of terrorism, citing Al-Qaeda and Ansar Al-Sharia in particular, before stressing that Sana’a had emerged victorious in this battle.

He said, “They exploited the preoccupation of the military, security and government with the crisis and the divisions that resulted from this, and came together from across the world in the Abyan province to form an Islamic emirate.”

“Following the resolution of the crisis, Yemeni Special Forces, in cooperation with the popular committees, targeted the terrorist dens in Abyan and parts of Shabwa province until they put an end to their dreams of establishing an Islamic emirate, defeating them and expelling all those who remained,” he added.

The Yemeni president emphasized that national security forces continue to pursue these terrorists, noting that those who were not killed in the fighting have fled the country.

Hadi’s statement was issued just one day after Yemen’s Specialized Criminal Division sentenced ten Al-Qaeda fighters to prison.

The trial, which began in February, saw the conviction of ten Al-Qaeda fighters, including a Syrian national, on charges of attacking military, security and government leaders, as well as foreign diplomats residing in Yemen. The Al-Qaeda elements were also convicted of abducting military and security vehicles, and looting funds with a view to damaging national security and stability.

Last month, Yemen’s official Saba news agency reported that popular committees in Abyan had attacked a covert Al-Qaeda hideout in Qarnah, near Qoud city. Saba reported that the Al-Qaeda cell based there had been plotting a number of bombings, targeting important state infrastructure and officials.

US drone strikes continue to target Al-Qaeda members in Yemen amid international controversy. Yemeni officials confirmed that a US drone strike had killed two suspected Al-Qaeda militants east of the capital Sana’a in late April. This was the third suspected US drone strike in less than a week in Yemen.