SANAA (AFP) – Ten Yemeni soldiers were wounded in clashes Wednesday with Al-Qaeda suspects as they tried to arrest a militant leader over last week’s murder of a top officer, tribal and medical sources said.
The troops raided the home of Hassan Abdullah Saleh al-Uqaily in Al-Himma, east of the capital Sanaa, in an attempt to arrest him, a tribal source said.
The suspect managed to escape but clashes broke out with a group of his supporters during which 10 soldiers were wounded, a medical official said.
Uqaily’s home was completely destroyed in the clashes, the tribal source said.
Colonel Mohammed Saleh al-Shaief and two of his bodyguards were killed on Saturday when Al-Qaeda militants opened fire on their convoy south of the eastern city of Marib, military and tribal sources said.
Shaief was travelling in a convoy to inspect military forces stationed in the Safar oilfield when the attack occurred south of Marib, the sources added.
A local source identified Uqaily — a 28-year-old on a government wanted list — as the one who led the attack.
Marib is one of the strongholds of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, ancestral homeland of its leader Osama bin Laden.