First Published: 2002-11-13

 
Yemen opposition blasts govt over US missile attack
 

Opposition parties says official silence of Yemen confirms authorities' complicity, loss of sovereignty.

 

Middle East Online

They also called on the government to cease all disinformation

SANAA - A group of seven opposition parties in Yemen on Tuesday accused the government of complicity in a US missile attack that killed six alleged members of the al-Qaeda Islamic extremist group on November 3, saying the incident had violated their country's sovereignty.

"The assurances of the US administration that the intelligence services carried out the attack, which killed six Yemenis, and the official silence of the Yemeni government confirms the authorities' complicity and the loss of sovereignty", the parties said in a joint statement.

Signatories included the Al Islah, or reform, party, the Yemeni Socialist Party and the Unionist Party, a nasserite group.

After condemning "terrorism in all forms", the statement said that the Yemeni authorities had a responsibility to "fight terrorism and pursue suspicious elements in order to bring them to trial... without dodging their responsibilities for the benefit of a foreign country", a reference to the United States.

"The Yemeni authorities are asked to shoulder the consequences of the dangerous results which the giving-up of sovereignty will entail", the parties said.

They also called on the government to "cease all disinformation... concerning its military and security cooperation with the United States and to act in a transparent way towards the people".

The Yemeni parliament must "shoulder its responsibility and question the government about its complicity and about the giving-up of sovereignty", they added.

The statement also called on "the Yemeni people to be vigilant in the face of all threats to its sovereignty, independence and security".

On November 6 both the Washington Post and the New York Times said the attack had been carried out with the agreement of the Yemeni government.

The six suspected al-Qaeda operatives were killed by a Hellfire missile launched from a remote-controlled CIA Predator aircraft as they rode in a vehicle 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, reports have said.

Among the dead men was reportedly a senior al-Qaeda leader, named by Washington as Ali Qaed Sunian al-Harithi.

He was suspected of masterminding the October 2000 attack on the US destroyer Cole, which was rammed by an explosives-laden boat that blew a hole in its hull and killed 17 US sailors.

Another of those killed in the November 3 attack was reportedly a US citizen.

 

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