DUBAI - Yemeni tribesman working with the army of President Ali Abdullah Saleh arrested 10 suspected Islamist militants in southern Yemen late on Tuesday, where the government has lost control of some areas after months of political turmoil.
The men were stopped at a checkpoint near the town of Shoqra in the possession of machine guns and grenades heading towards the southern port city of Aden on the main coastal road. The men were handed over to the army, which transferred them to Aden by the safer sea route, local and tribal sources said.
Islamists, some possibly from al Qaida, have taken over coastal areas and towns such as Jaar and Zinjibar in recent months, apparently exploiting a security vacuum as Saleh and his allies fight to stay in power in the face of pro-democracy protests that began in January.
Saleh, in power since 1978, said on Tuesday he would soon return home from Saudi Arabia where he is recovering from a June assassination attempt that badly burned him and raised questions about whether he could return to rule.