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96 killed as Yemeni soldier turns bomber: Medics

News4u-News Desk-SANAA: A Yemeni soldier packing powerful explosives under his uniform blew himself up in the middle of an army battalion in Sanaa on Monday, killing 96 troops and wounding around 300, a military official and medics said.

The suicide attack was the deadliest in the country’s capital since newly-elected President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi pledged to oust al-Qaida militants from Yemen’s mostly lawless and restive southern and eastern provinces.

Medics, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the casualties were being treated in seven hospitals across Sanaa. All the dead and injured were soldiers, they added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the massive blast which according to witnesses echoed loudly across the city, causing panic among residents.

The unidentified bomber detonated his explosives as soldiers from the government’s central security forces, commanded by a nephew of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, rehearsed for an army parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen, according to the military official.

Yemen’s defence minister, Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, was present at the time of the explosion but escaped unharmed, the official added.

Witnesses said human remains were scattered across the site of the blast at Sanaa’s Sabeen Square, where the Yemeni government often holds large military parades.

An AFP correspondent said dozens of ambulances rushed to evacuate the dead and wounded, as security forces cordoned off the area.

The attack is Sanaa’s most deadly since Hadi took power in February with a pledge to fight al-Qaida’s growing presence in the county.AFP


Yemeni soldiers search for landmines on a road in the north-western Yemeni province of Saada

Yemeni soldiers

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25 al-Qaida fighters killed in latest Yemen clash

News4u-News Desk-Yemeni government troops launched a surprise attack in the south of the country to recapture an al-Qaida stronghold, killing 25 Islamist militants.

The official said yesterday, the army succeeded in regaining control over one district on the outskirts of Zinjibar, but the rest of the provincial capital was still in al-Qaida’s hands.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

A Defense Ministry statement yesterday said the offensive that started two weeks ago around another city in the southern Abyan province, Lawder, has so far killed 250 al-Qaida militants.

Also, 37 Yemeni soldiers have died, it said.

During a year of internal turmoil that eventually led to longtime Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation, al-Qaida took advantage of a security vacuum to overrun parts of the south.

The US believes al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen is the most dangerous arm of the terror group because of its repeated attempts to carry out attacks in the US.

In recent weeks, the Yemeni military has been hitting the militants in ground and air operations, while al-Qaida has carried out some bloody surprise attacks of its own against government forces.

Yemen’s government expressed determination.

“The war on terrorism will expand and reach all the terrorist elements; it will continue and will not stop until it curbs it and uproots it,” a statement yesterday from the Ministry of Interior read.

Under a power transfer deal brokered by Arab Gulf countries and backed by the United States, Saleh received immunity from prosecution in return for stepping down.

Protesters have been on the streets ever since, rejecting the terms.

The new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has pledged to purge Saleh’s loyalists and family members from top security and military posts, a step toward restructuring the army to enable it to effectively combat al-Qaida militants in the south.

Hadi’s decisions have met with stiff resistance from the Saleh’s allies.

Yemen is under US pressure to clamp down on Al-Qaeda

25 al-Qaida fighters killed in latest Yemen clash

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Huh? US and British English to collide at Olympics

News4u-News Desk-LONDON - The lorry driver taking kit to the football pitch was so knackered he pulled into the lay-by near the petrol station for a quick kip. Huh?


For American readers, that translates as: The truck driver delivering uniforms to the soccer field was so tired he pulled into the rest area near the gas station for a nap.


As George Bernard Shaw once observed, England and America are two countries divided by a common language. That trans-Atlantic linguistic divide will be magnified by Olympic proportions this summer when an estimated 250,000 Americans come to town for the London Games.


Yes, the Internet, television, movies, global travel and business have blurred language differences, and many people in the U.S. and U.K. are familiar with those bizarre figures of speech from both sides of the pond.


Yet important differences remain, prompting this rough guide to just a few of the potential colloquial conundrums that await baffled American visitors to the old country. (A caveat: This is not a definitive, all-inclusive list and doesn’t take into account different spelling, accents, Cockney rhyming slang or expletives!)




Those are “chips” that go with your burger, instead of fries. You’d like some potato chips? Those are “crisps.”


A soft drink or soda? That would be a “fizzy drink.” A soft drink can refer to any nonalcoholic beverage. If you want the hard stuff, go to the “off-license” rather than a liquor store.


If the waiter asks if you’d like “pudding,” he’s referring to dessert in general, not necessarily the soft treat that Bill Cosby once pitched in TV ads. By the way, if you see “black pudding” or “blood pudding” on the menu - well, that’s not dessert at all. It’s sausage.


A “cracker” isn’t only what you put cheese on. It’s also a very good thing, as in “That goal was a cracker!” It can be an adjective, too: “London will put on a cracking opening ceremony.”




Let’s talk “sport.” That’s singular in Britain, not like sports in the U.S.


Those “blokes” (guys) hawking 100-meter final tickets? They’re not scalpers, they’re “ticket touts.” Incidentally, if you can’t get any tickets, you can always watch on “telly” where the commercials are called “adverts.”


You’ll definitely do a lot of “queuing” (waiting in line), especially at Olympic venues for security checks. Whatever you do, don’t “jump the queue.”


Going to watch the finish of the marathon or cycling road race? Yes, the venue is the “Mall.” No, that’s not a shopping center. It’s that iconic boulevard leading from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. And, it’s pronounced the “mal.”


Headed to the Olympic Stadium to watch track and field? The preferred term in England is “athletics.”


Of course, soccer is “football.” The sport is played on a pitch, rather than a field. A player might kick the ball into the “stand,” rather than stands - and there definitely are no bleachers. Players wear “shirts,” not jerseys, and “boots,” not cleats, and their uniform is called their “kit.”




Londoners don’t walk on the sidewalk. They walk on the “pavement.”


That crosswalk? It’s a “zebra crossing” (pronounced zeh-bra, not zee-bra).


The best way to travel around the city during the Olympics will be by the “Underground,” the rail network commonly known as the “Tube.” It’s not the “subway” - that’s a pedestrian underpass.


Tube trains have “carriages,” not cars. When you get on or off the Tube, don’t forget to “mind the gap” between the platform and the train.




Anything to do with cars can be oh-so confusing - and not just because you drive on the left side of the road here.


London’s roads are full of maddening traffic “roundabouts,” not circles or rotaries.


The hood and the trunk? No, no. That’s the “bonnet” and the “boot.” The windshield is the “windscreen,” side-view mirrors are “wing mirrors,” the stick shift is the “gear stick.”


A highway is a “motorway.” You park in the “car park.”




You take “the lift,” not the elevator.


That little corner store where you can buy newspapers and magazines and snacks? It’s usually called a “newsagent.” You might hear someone say, “I’m popping down to the newsagent for a packet of fags.”


“Fags” is slang for cigarettes.


Looking for a trash can? Try a “rubbish bin” instead.


Thumbtacks don’t exist; they’re “drawing pins.”




If someone is feeling “chuffed,” don’t worry. That means they’re delighted, as in, “I’m chuffed to bits that I got tickets for the closing ceremony.”


If someone says they’re “gutted,” it has nothing to do with fish. They’re just bitterly disappointed, as in the British Olympic sprinter who’s “gutted” after failing to qualify for the 200-meter final. By contrast, he’ll be “over the moon” if he makes it.


You’ll hear “Cheers” a lot, and not just in the pub. It’s a term for thank you. So is “Ta.”




Some words take on a totally different, even opposite, meaning in the two countries.


“Torrid” is a prime example - positive in American sports, negative in Britain.


In the U.S., if Kobe Bryant goes on a torrid run in the fourth quarter, he’s scoring a bunch of points. In England, if Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is having a torrid season, he can’t put the ball in the net.




The lexicon for clothing can be a minefield.


Be particularly careful when you talk about “pants.” In Britain, that refers to underwear. Trousers is the more appropriate term. (Pants can also be an adjective, meaning bad or lousy, as in “That film was pants.”)


Suspenders don’t hold up trousers; “braces” do. In British English, “suspenders” are what Americans call a garter belt.




For those cool evenings, pack a “jumper,” as opposed to a sweater. Or a jacket called an “anorak.” But note: “anorak” is also a somewhat derogatory term for a nerdy, obsessive person.


And, finally, with London’s rainy reputation in mind, don’t forget to carry an umbrella.


Yes, if there’s one phrase worth remembering, it’s this:


Bring a brolly.AP

US and Britain Flag

US and Britain Flag

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40 killed in army-Qaeda clashes

News4u-News Desk-At least 40 people were killed in heavy fighting on Saturday between the army and suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen’s southern province of Lahij, officials said.

“Twenty-eight soldiers were killed” in the fighting which erupted when the Islamist fighters attacked army positions in Mallah, a town in Lahij, an army officer on the ground told agency.

An official in the Al-Qaeda stronghold of Jaar, southeast of Lahij, said 12 militants were also killed.

The officer had earlier told that 17 soldiers were killed and 11 others were missing and “believed dead.”

Reinforcements were brought into the area from Al-Anad air base in Lahij as clashes continued throughout the day, the officer said.

“The air force and ground troops are now shelling an army post which Al-Qaeda militants have managed to take over” in Mallah, he said.

Another military official said “two army tanks and three Al-Qaeda vehicles were destroyed in the fighting, (while) Al-Qaeda militants have seized several soldiers.”

The official in Jaar said that “five soldiers were seized” by the extremists.

The attackers targeted the 119th and 201st army brigades, involved in military operations aimed at regaining control of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province southeast of Lahij, which the militants overran last May.

In a text message received by agency, the Al-Qaeda-linked militants, who have named themselves Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), claimed the attack which they declared as a “Battle of Dignity.”

They said “30 soldiers” were killed in the fighting but did not say how many of their own men had died.

On Saturday, Al-Qaeda members sabotaged a 320-kilometre gas pipeline linking Marib province to Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden, all in the country’s restive south.

The pipeline attack came shortly after two US drone attacks in eastern Yemen targeted Al-Qaeda suspects killing seven people, six of them militants, according to a local official in Shabwa province.

The army has been locked for months in deadly battles with the Partisans of Sharia who have exploited a central government weakened by a year of anti-regime protests to strengthen their grip.

Dozens killed as Yemen ceasefire cracks

Yemen army

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Govt mulls forensic bodies for UTs, North-East region

News4u - News Desk - The Centre is planning to set up two forensic science organisations that will collaborate and exchange information with forensic laboratories in UnionTerritories and North-East region.

Official sources said that North East Forensic Organisation (NEFO) and Union Territory Forensic Organisation (UTFO) are being constituted to address the problem of North-East states and union territories in the field of forensic sciences.

This is also being done keeping in view the special status of North-East states and union territories. Forensic science laboratories there lack adequate infrastructure, man-power and equipment which hamper investigations, they said.

The step will also end the dependency of these labs on outside institutions, the sources said, adding that NEFO and UTFO will solve the problems of the isolated institutions.

The sources said investigations in bomb blasts and other emergencies in these parts of the country can be expedited as there will be technology transfer, high quality delivery of services and improved interaction and co-ordination in probes.



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Yemenis vote as Saleh’s 33-year rule ends

News4u-News Desk-Yemeni voters head for the polls on Tuesday, ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule and thus making Yemen the first Arab state where a revolt has led to a negotiated settlement.

The referendum-like poll, in which Saleh’s deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is standing as the sole consensus candidate, is being boycotted by two major opposition groups; the separatist Southern Movement and the northern Shiite rebels.

But the main proponents of the uprising that began in January 2011 have asked Yemenis to throw their support behind Hadi, whose posters have been plastered across buildings and throughout the streets of the capital Sanaa.

Hardline factions of the Southern Movement have gone as far as calling for preventing the election from taking place at all, and making Tuesday a day of “civil disobedience” to disrupt voting.

Attacks on polling stations and clashes between troops and anti-election protesters in the south have raised fears that polling day could be marred by violence.

Such fears have prompted authorities to deploy 103,000 soldiers to guard polling stations, said Mohammed Yahya, chairman of the Electoral Commission.

Hadi, himself a southerner, pledged on Sunday to southern separatists and northern rebels that he will address their concerns, saying that “dialogue and only dialogue” can resolve these long-standing conflicts.

Yemen’s new president will rule for an interim two-year period, after which presidential and parliamentary elections will be held, a condition of the Gulf-brokered transition deal signed by Saleh in November.

However Saleh’s shadow looms large over today’s vote.

The veteran strongman maintains a strong hold over the most powerful security forces and there is also speculation that he might return from the United States, where he is receiving medical treatment, as soon as Wednesday.

In a speech published on state news agency Saba yesterday, Saleh, spared the fates of his ousted Arab counterparts, urged Yemenis to vote for his deputy to ensure a “peaceful” transition of power.

Autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt were forced to resign last year, bowing down to mass uprisings.

In Libya, rebels backed by NATO forces captured and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October.


Yemen Flag

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Clashes erupt as Bahrain warns against protests

News4u - News Desk : Bahraini police clashed with protesters on Monday, witnesses said, as the kingdom’s security chief warned citizens not to heed calls by activists to mark the first anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising.
Police fired tear gas and sound grenades at hundreds of demonstrators in what some described as “violent” clashes in Shiite neighbourhoods that lasted throughout the night yesterday and into today morning, the witnesses said.

One witness told the news agency that “many” protesters were wounded but gave no further details.

Shiite protesters often seek medical treatment in private homes for fear of retaliation or arrest by government security forces if they check in to a public hospital.

Meanwhile, public security chief Major General Tariq al-Hassan cautioned Bahrainis “not to respond to the inciting calls on (online) social networks to demonstrate,” in a statement published on the official news agency early today.

Hassan warned that security forces would not hesitate to respond to “those that want to take advantage … to carry out unlawful, irresponsible acts that threaten public order.”

He said the government “will prevent” such actions, but also appealed to citizens not to “escalate tensions.”

Activists called for demonstrations on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at Manama’s former Pearl Square, the focal point of the Shiite-dominated protests that erupted last February 14 and was crushed a month later.

Hassan said that Bahraini forces have already taken the necessary measures to bolster security in anticipation of demonstrations.

Witnesses have reported a heavy security presence at main junctions in Manama since yesterday morning, with a concentration of forces at the Al-Farook interchange what was built on Pearl Square after it was razed, a day after the protests were crushed last year.

Last year’s crackdown by the Sunni-ruled nation led to the deaths of 35 people, including five security personnel and five detainees who were tortured to death, an independent commission of enquiry appointed by King Hamad found.



Clashes erupt as Bahrain warns against protests

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Al-Qaida militants escape in Yemen prison break

News4u - News Desk :

Several al-Qaida militants escaped early on Monday from a prison in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, officials said, tunneling their way out in the second such spectacular jailbreak this year.


A prison officer said at least 10 convicts escaped through an up to 130 feet (40 meter) long tunnel, which took the inmates from under the western side of the Aden prison to near a petrol station outside the prison walls.

A security official said 15 militants fled in the prison break, including 12 convicted for the killing of security officials and a bank heist.

The discrepancy in the number of escaped prisoners could not be immediately reconciled.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, has been wrecked by months of political turmoil and unrest.

A popular uprising against longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule inspired by other Arab Spring revolts that toppled autocratic rulers in Egypt and Tunisia has been met by a fierce government crackdown.

The crackdown triggered widespread defections earlier this year by soldiers and officers who joined the protest movement.

Powerful tribes and their armed fighters also turned against Saleh and waged battles against his forces.

Yemen is also home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which the US considers the terrorist network’s most active and dangerous offshoot.

Islamic militants with links to the group have taken advantage of the country’s turmoil to seize control of several towns in southern Yemen.

Yemen has seen spectacular jailbreaks before.

In 2003, 11 al-Qaida militants convicted for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 American sailors and injured 39 others, escaped from the Aden prison.

In 2006, 23 al-Qaida militants broke out of a detention facility in Sanaa, including Nasser al-Wahishi, who went on to become the leader of al-Qaida’s Yemeni offshoot.

In June, nearly 60 suspected al-Qaida militants tunneled their way out of a prison in the southern Mukalla city.

Investigations into these breakouts and subsequent trials showed that some prison security officers were involved in helping the convicts flee and several officers have been jailed.

yemen map

yemen map

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Yemen clashes leave 13 dead

News4u-News Desk-

ADEN: Weekend clashes in southern Yemen left two government soldiers and 11 suspected members of Al-Qaeda dead, Saturday.

Government troops have for months been battling Al-Qaeda linked fighters in the troubled Abyan province, notably in the areas surrounding the provincial capital Zinjibar, where the latest clashes took place.

“Two soldiers were killed and forty others injured in battles that broke out when Al-Qaeda fighters attacked the positions of Battalion 201″, based in the northeast of Zinjibar, a military source told AFP.

A local source told AFP that “11 Al-Qaeda fighters, including one Iraqi, perished in the battles.”

The clashes, which first broke out Friday, continued on Saturday afternoon, both sources said.

In a separate incident, a suspected member of Al-Qaeda, who was abducted by tribal fighters battling Islamists in the area, was killed by his guards on Saturday morning, as he tried to escape detention in the Abyan village of Loder, a tribal source told AFP.

Yemeni government forces backed by tribal fighters and sometimes supported by US drone strikes have been battling the Partisans of Sharia, an Al-Qaeda linked group, that has controlled Zinjibar since May.

Al-Qaeda has profitted from the instability caused by 11 months of protests against Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, strengthening its positions across the south of the country.AFP


yemen map

yemen map

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7 killed in Yemen airstrikes north of capital

News4u-News Desk-

SANAA, YEMEN: Yemeni military airstrikes on anti-government tribesmen killed seven civilians, medical officials said, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country on Tuesday to protest the latest attempt by their president to evade pressure to step down.

The attack in the mountainous region of Arhab is the latest by Republican Guards targeting tribes that support the protests.

Tribes in Arhab have announced an alliance with the protesters and are trying to prevent forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh from controlling the area. The government claims the tribesmen are linked to al-Qaida.

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 33 years, has maintained his grip on power though he is in Saudi Arabia, recuperating from wounds sustained in a June attack on his compound in the capital Sanaa.

Residents and medical officials say at least 60 people have been killed in Arhab, north of Sanaa, in government attacks this year. The medical officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

In southern Yemen, the military, backed by support from the United States and Saudi Arabia, has used ground attacks and airstrikes in its fight against militants with suspected links to al-Qaida.

The government acknowledged Tuesday that an airstrike last week on Jaar, in Abyan province, killed seven civilians and 12 militants. The airstrikes destroyed a hospital, school, two mosques and residential buildings.

The battles in Arhab and Abyan have forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

On Tuesday, the U.N. called for an inquiry into the government’s use of lethal force against protesters.

A team of officials from the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights called Tuesday for an international probe into the killings of hundreds of Yemeni protesters earlier this year, saying they were “met with excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by the state”.

According to a Gulf-brokered deal that would have the president transfer powers to his vice president, Saleh would be guaranteed immunity from investigations into the use of lethal force against protesters.

Saleh has come close to signing several times, only to back away at the last minute, infuriating his opponents.

Protests Tuesday took place under the slogan: “No deal, no maneuvering, the president should leave.”

Saleh authorized his vice president to negotiate with the opposition on his behalf and sign a deal to transfer executive powers to him. However, Saleh retained the right to reject the deal in the end. The opposition charges that Saleh’s agreement is a tactic aimed at stalling and not a genuine move toward turning over power.

This prompted Yemen’s Student Union and university professors to defy a call by the Education Ministry to resume classes, saying they would continue anti-Saleh protests instead .

Thousands of Yemenis also took part Tuesday in the funeral procession of an influential tribal chief’s son, who was assassinated Monday in Sanaa by masked gunmen still at large.

The tribal chief had recruited youth in the fight against al-Qaida-linked militants, who overran parts of southern Yemen in April and May.

Military officials said militants attacked government forces in the southern city of Zinjibar, killing three soldiers and wounding five on Tuesday.

The officials were speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Witnesses say militants still control the center of Zinjibar, in Abyan province, and that the military is battling for control of eastern parts of the city.

Gov. Ahmed al-Majidi of Lahj province said militants have also established a presence in his area. Lahj is near Abyan in the south.

In a statement posted on militant online forums, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula vowed to avenge the Jaar airstrike that killed civilians last week and destroyed two mosques. The statement denied its militants were killed.

“The holy warriors stress that they will not let these crimes go without punishment,” the statement said.

The United States views al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen as one of the most dangerous, holding its members responsible for a failed attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit in December 2009.AP



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