CAIRO Ñ A Yemeni group is said to be the first Islamic insurgency
movement that has hired mercenaries.
Yemeni security sources said the Aden-Abyan Army has employed a range of
foreign nationals as mercenaries in the campaign against the government in
Sanaa. They said the army consists of Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis and
The sources were commenting on the Yemeni military operation that captured at
least 17 Aden army insurgents and killed another 10 Islamic combatants in
the Hattat mountains in the Abyan province.
The Yemeni operation was
conducted with the help of U.S. Special Operations Command forces and
included helicopters, artillery and combat vehicles, Middle East Newsline reported.
Additional members of the Aden army have relayed their intention to
surrender. The sources said the insurgents have submitted a set of
unspecified conditions through tribal chiefs.
An investigation of the captured Aden army insurgents has resulted in
new information about the group. The sources said the Aden army is linked to
Al Qaida and was involved in the USS Cole bombing in 2000.
The sources said the group has a Shura Council that has outlined the
campaign against what insurgents term the secular Yemeni government. Many of
those recruited by the Aden group fought the United States in Afghanistan.
Other insurgents were members of the Islamic Jihad, an insurgency group that
has operated in Yemen.
The Aden army has also employed robbers who have attacked a range of
travelers in southeastern Yemen. They included Yemeni military physicians
Yemen has also launched a campaign against clerics regarded as
sympathizers of the Aden army. The sources said authorities have begun to
restrict the movement of clerics who use mosques for anti-governments
The military operation against the Aden army came as Yemen has increased
security cooperation with neighboring Saudi Arabia. Yemeni sources said the
military deployed more than 3,000 soldiers along the Yemeni border in late
June with the Saudi kingdom in an attempt to prevent the flight of Aden army
insurgents. They said the operation was also meant to reduce smuggling of
weapons and drugs into Saudi Arabia.
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