Initial reports of a US or Yemeni bombing raid upon a police station in Wadi’a district on July 14, 2011 may have resulted in as many as fifty people killed, with as many as thirty civilians among the deceased. Militants were also killed and injured, though there was huge variation in the numbers reported, which ranged from six to 50 killed and 10 to 12 others injured.
Yusra A @YusraAIA tweeted that warplanes struck a police station in Wadi’a; the location was believed to be a gathering place for militants, with Al Jazeera adding that the militants had taken over the police station. Long War Journal also reported that US airstrikes struck a police station in Yemen, killing six “Islamic militants” during a nighttime raid. @YusraAIA went on to tweet that six armed people were killed, including Mohammed Sufina, a leader of these militant groups. An eyewitness told al Jazeera that the entire police station was demolished and while six dead bodies of gunmen were pulled from the ruins of the police station, the death toll could “climb with ongoing rescue operations”.
Yemeni journalist Nasser Arrabyee claimed that “some 20 Al Qaeda fighters were killed… including leaders Hadi Mohammed Ali and Abu Bilal”. Sahafanet added that eight militants were killed, including “Hadi Mohammad Ali Al-Sa`tari, Al-Tali from Al-Ain, and a person called Al-Hassan from the Mudia and Maslah district. Another is from Marib, whose identity has not been identified, and another is called Al-Kudur from Mudiyah, and three have not yet been identified.” The source added that “the raid injured more than ten others, including a person named Farouk Al-Sout, who was seriously injured, and he was treated at Al-Razi Hospital in Harar.”
Yemeni newspaper Akhbar al Youm reported that fifty “Al Qaeda militants” were killed while CNN reported that Yemeni officials claimed that a single US drone strike had killed fifty militants in Southern Yemen.
“The casualty toll is high because fighters were gathered in that area with family members,” a senior security source in Abyan allegedly told CNN. Witnesses also told the channel that “at least 30 civilians” – “hiding from the attacks” were among the dead. However, according to CNN, “the Yemeni government said that a US drone was not involved in the attack and that its air forces conducted the raid. The Interior Ministry said on its website that nine fighters were killed and dozens were wounded and that the number of deaths was expected to rise.” However, Yemeni officials told the Associated Press that the strike must have been carried out by an American plane “because Yemeni planes aren’t equipped for nighttime strikes”.
The CNN report went on to quote Yousra Bandar, a mother of three, who said: “No one knows who is dying in Abyan. We want to leave the province, but go to where? Leaving the province is a slow death for all of us.”
The incident occured around dawn.
Sources (25) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the police station in Al Wadi’a district in Abyan province. The coordinates for Al Wadi’a district (مديرية الوضيع) are: 13.713333, 46.011944. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to locate the police station.