Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat— Yemeni authorities began closing businesses that sell or manufacture military clothing, including uniforms, badges and insignia, in a wider bid to contain the recent spate of violence that has ravaged the country, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday.
The country’s interior ministry ordered the closure of dozens of these shops after gunmen began using military uniforms as disguises in their attacks on government targets.
The last such attacks took place on December 5, when a suicide bombing on the Ministry of Defense complex in Sana’a killed 52 and injured hundreds of civilians.
The step coincides with a heightened security situation in Yemen which recently saw an increase in the number of checkpoints and inspection measures following intelligence about new terrorist attacks on local targets and foreign interests in the country.
In another security measure, Sana’a authorities extended a curfew on motorcycles until the end of December.
According to the country’s Supreme Security Committee (SSC) the curfew was extended as a result of an increase in drive-by assassinations that have claimed the lives of several intelligence, military and police officers.
Meanwhile, in its first statement on a US drone strike that was alleged to have killed 15 civilians in Al-Bayda province last week, the Yemeni government said that senior Al-Qaeda leaders were targeted in the attack.
“On board the vehicle were top leaders who plotted several terrorist attacks against the armed forces, police, civilians and vital government installations,” said an SSC statement published by state news agency, Saba.
Local officials previously claimed that the attack had hit a convoy of vehicles that formed part of a wedding party.
According to news agency reports, the Yemeni government compensated the relatives of the victims after they began protests in the district of Radda.