On the evening of Wednesday April 11th 2012, an airstrike allegedly by Yemeni forces or US drone strikes which hit a car with suspected Al Qaeda militants killed between two and fourteen militants and injuring between seven and 10 others, near the town of Lawder in the Abyan governorate, an area on a key highway that links an Al Qaeda stronghold in Zinjibar with other provinces where the group is also active. The vehicle was claimed to be a Yemeni military truck reported stolen in previous clashes according to Press TV. There are currently no reports of civilian harm.
Most sources, such as Press TV, Fox News, and The Hill reported twelve casualties, while Xinhua accounted for fourteen killed belligerents. Numerous twitter accounts, including @anaalyemenii @SUHFNET_YE, published almost the same tweet reporting two Al Qaeda operatives killed.
The attack was confirmed by the Yemeni Minister of Defence the same day on the website, reporting twelve casualties among militants of Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who called themselves Ansar al-Sharia, two of which were local leaders named Dardish Ahmed Mohammed Taher and Imad al-Manshaby. This information was also reported by Fox News, Almasdar Online, Yemen Post, and Akhbaria Net, and Fox News also reported that Saudis, Somalis and a Pakistani were among the casualties.
Almasdar Online quoted a statement from Ansar al-Sharia that two members of the group were killed and seven others were wounded on April 11th, 2012.
Sources were conflicted as to whether the Yemeni military or US forces were responsible for the attack, with a local government official telling Xinhua that a US drone carried out the strikes while tweets from @anaalyemenii and @_alakwa blamed the Yemeni government.
The attack was part of a series of clashes in the area that lasted days between Yemeni armed forces with local tribesmen against Al-Qaeda, allegedly causing numerous losses with Akhbaria Net reporting at least forty on the day of the strike that the belligerent group denied, claiming only seven militants had been killed.
The incident occured in the evening.
Sources (20) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that a convoy near the town of Al Ain (or Ayn) (العين) was targeted, 10 km south of the town of Lawdar (لودر). The generic coordinates for the town of Al Ain (العين) are: 13.79898, 45.887205. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.