On Aug. 24, 2011, multiple news outlets reported that airstrikes by the Yemeni government killed 30-40 suspected Al Qaeda militants in the town of Zinjibar, located in the province of Abyan. While there are no reported cases of civilian harm, estimates vary on the number of suspected militants killed in the strike.
The Associated Press and antiwar.com reported that 30 suspected AQ militants had been killed in the strikes on Zinjibar, while Sanaa News, Yemeress, and @Ymncafe stated that 40 suspected militants had been killed.
The strike on Zinjibar unfolded as part of larger operations throughout the region, in which AP and antiwar.com reported that six suspected militants had been killed in strikes on nearby Arkoub (USYEM028-B). Both outlets report that 30 out of 36 militants were killed between the two strikes were in Abyan.
Various reports state that Yemeni troops suffered losses in the operations that took place throughout Abyan, with AP reporting that eight Yemeni soldiers were killed in fighting around Zinjibar and CNN stating that 12 government troops had been killed and 42 injured since the morning of the 23rd, part of 29 killed and 62 injured from “both sides” in fighting in Abyan.
Antiwar.com stated that 18 government troops had been killed in two days in fighting in the region. Sanaa News and Yemeress both reported that the day before the Aug. 24 strike, an Al Qaeda attack on Yemeni forces killed 20 government soldiers.
The strikes represented another push by the Saleh government to recapture the Abyan province from Al Qaeda, which took control of the region in May 2011 amidst widespread disfavor with the Saleh regime. The Associated Press reported that continuous airstrikes and ground raids had “failed to dislodge” Al Qaeda from the area.
The incident occured in the morning.
Sources (10) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the town of Zinjibar (زنجبار) in Ayban province. The coordinates for the town of Zinjibar are: 13.129059, 45.380422.