01 July 2012
U.S.-backed offensive against Islamic militants intensified: army re-captured southern towns Zinzibar, Jaar, Shaqra, Azzan from Islamic militants following heavy fighting, air strikes. Suicide bomber 18 June killed commander of military forces Major General Salem Ali Qatan; al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility; security forces 22 June detained suspected local al-Qaeda leader Sami Dayyan in connection. Govt 19 June foiled plot to attack foreign embassies in Sanaa; govt same day announced killing of Salah al-Jawhari who directed AQAP suicide bombers. Army 20 June killed at least 11 Islamic militants, including senior military leaders of Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia in Abyan province. Ansar al-Sharia 1 June announced release of 27 soldiers after they vowed to quit army. Govt admitted mistakenly killing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) staff member during 20 June airstrike. Northern Houthi Shiite rebels 5 June agreed to talks with govt to resolve political conflicts.