Al-Qaida in Yemen says it will avenge southern air raids

September 13, 2011 12:58

DUBAI - Al-Qaida's Yemen-based wing accused the government of killing seven civilians but missing its militants in a string of air strikes on a flashpoint southern province last week, and it promised retaliation.

In one of two statements posted by the global militant group's regional franchise, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, on Islamist internet forums late on Monday, AQAP claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a northern Shi'ite Muslim insurgent group that has clashed with Sunni Islamists.

In its statement on the air strikes, AQAP said Yemen's military last week hit two mosques, a hospital and a market place in Abyan province. Militants linked to al-Qaida have been challenging army control by seizing several towns in Abyan, which lies east of a strategic shipping strait.

AQAP's casualty count conflicted with an army statement after the air strikes that said 30 militants were killed.

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