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.


Tunisia under state of emergency

Turkey downs Russia Su-24 fighter jet on Syria border

Lavrov says no war with Turkey after 'planned provocation'

Brussels extends terror alert as US issues worldwide travel warning

Somali pirates seize Iran fishing boat with 15 crew

Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi

Heavy Russia raids at site of Syria plane crash

Tunisia declares state of emergency after terrorist attack in heart of capital

Bahrain calls HRW torture report 'misleading'

Syria, Russia foreign ministers set Moscow talks

Rival Libya tribes sign peace deal to end months of fighting

Turkey reveals new cabinet of Erdogan allies

Hopes fade away as Sudan peace talks break without deal

At least 6 dead in Libya bomb attack

ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on Sinai hotel

Kerry visits Israel with scant hopes for major breakthrough

Hollande heads to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS

UAE blames Islamists for delay in military operation in Taez

Egypt kills 5 Sudanese migrants near border with Israel

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise 300 percent in Britain

Russia eases restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran

Gulf leaders to hold annual summit on December 10

Ex-Gathafi Minister arrested over murder of UK policewoman

UK boosts military spending as pressure grows to join anti-ISIS strikes

Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement bloc

Iraq suspends northern flights due to danger posed by Russia missiles

Syria army advances against ISIS in central province of Homs

Pro-Kurdish leader escapes assassination attempt in Turkey

Tunisia group claims beheading of young shepherd on behalf of ISIS

Kerry arrives in Abu Dhabi for Syria discussions

Three Palestinians killed as fresh violence hits West Bank

Iran arrests ISIS-linked cell near Iraq border

Brussels remains on high alert for second day in a row

Israel seeks to strip citizenship of those who join ISIS

France warns Libya as ISIS gains ground

Fear escalates as ISIS edges closer to Syria Christian town

Iran sentences reporter Jason Rezaian to prison

Egyptians vote in second phase of parliamentary elections

Assad grateful to Russia as army advances on ‘nearly every front’

Obama calls for resolve in face of terrorist threats

Russia bombs ISIS in heaviest strikes since beginning of Syria war

ISIS claims deadly attack on Iraq Shiite mosque

Iran Revolutionary Guard simulate capture of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Turkey-backed Syria rebels seize two border villages from ISIS

Israel shuts down second Palestinian radio station