First Published: 2013-01-14


Yemen puts on trial 9 suspects over suicide killing of 86 troops


Nine Al-Qaeda suspects go on trial for involvement in suicide attack in Sanaa that killed 86 soldiers last May.


Middle East Online

Hearing held under tight security

SANAA - Yemen on Monday put on trial nine Al-Qaeda suspects accused of involvement in a suicide attack in Sanaa that killed 86 soldiers last May.

The hearing, at a Sanaa court specialising in terrorism cases, was being held under tight security, a correspondent reported.

The defendants, identified as members of a group known as the "Saawan cell", are accused of having "planned to assassinate security leaderships and targeting civilian and military establishments using explosive belts and silent guns," according to the chargesheet read out in the court.

They are also accused of participating in the May 21, 2012 attack which killed 86 soldiers and wounded 173, the chargesheet added.

Al-Qaeda had claimed responsibility for the blast, which it said was aimed at Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed and his aides. The minister escaped unharmed.

The attack saw a man dressed as a soldier detonate explosives under his uniform in the middle of a battalion. The massive blast echoed loudly across Sanaa, causing panic among residents.

It was the biggest assault on Yemeni troops since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi came to power in February last year, following a year long uprising that ousted his predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh.

After the charges were read, one of the defendants, 24-year-old Hisham Sharaabi, shouted: "This case is political and involves high-ranking officials."

The defendants denied the charges and claimed they had confessed under pressure.

Prosecutors have demanded capital punishment for the nine, who are also charged with "joining Al-Qaeda and taking jihadist and incitement lessons from Ansar al-Sharia (Islamic law) in Abyan," said the judge, referring to jihadists who fought the army for over a year across south Yemen.

The next hearing will take place on January 21.


‘Islamic State’ claims series of deadly attacks in Yemen

Opening of Baghdad’s Green Zone to public worries US

NATO accuses Russia of violating Turkey airspace

Russia has created ‘de facto no-fly zone’ for Assad

Halal economy set to grow worldwide

Russia hints at willingness on Syria 'deconfliction' with US

France may strip five terrorists of nationality

Israel demolition policy: Collective punishment in violation of international law

Violence in Yemen may trigger world's next great refugee crisis

EU to 'step up' work on resettlement of refugees from Turkey

Tunisia dismantles three ISIS recruitment cells

Russia not cooperating with US in Syria safety talks

Recent unrest leaves Netanyahu with tough political choices

Unpaid teachers in Iraq Kurdistan go on strike to end ‘farce’

Erdogan warns Russia not to destroy friendship with Turkey

Arab coalition troops among 15 killed in Yemen attacks

Is pro-Sisi parliament a given?

NATO warns Russia airspace violations risk inflaming tensions

Turkey urges EU to do more to topple Assad

Iran threatens boycott Frankfurt Book Fair over Rushdie’s invite

Libya rival factions resume peace talks in Morocco

Yemen PM escapes unharmed in Aden rocket attack

UK top counter-terrorism official accuses social media of 'undermining' investigations

Lebanon lawmakers nearly come to blows in televised meeting

Gulf Arab forces take back strategic island in Yemen

Yemeni forces besiege rebels after capturing key strait

US shows laxity in enforcement of Iran arms embargo

Turkey warns Russia over air space violations

Russia gets new warning from Pentagon as tensions simmer over Syria

Arab states silent on Russian intervention in Syria

Assault on Egyptian waiter in Jordan draws public outrage

Syria rebel factions call for new coalition to combat Assad and allies

Germany voices doubt over Russian operations in Syria

Iraq militia leader casts doubt on US seriousness about fight against ISIS

Russia jets hit nine ISIS targets in Syria over past 24 hours

Bodies of 85 migrants washed ashore in Libya

Israeli army shoots dead Palestinian teen near Bethlehem

Russia TV takes Syria coverage to new level: Perfect weather for ISIS bombing!

Netanyahu pledges 'fight to the death' as clashes spread

IS destroys Arch of Triumph in Syria's Palmyra

French FM: Syria air strikes must target all 'groups considered as terrorists'

Israeli carries out air raid Gaza after rocket attack

Tunisia joins anti-ISIS coalition to ‘obtain information’

ISIS gunmen shoot dead two Egypt policemen in Sinai

Trump prefers to 'sit back' and see what happens in Syria