Armed men have attacked, on Saturday 06/19/2010, a building housing Yemen’s intelligence services in the southern port city of Aden, sparking a clash with security forces in which 12 people were killed. The attack targeted the biggest intelligence headquarters in Aden .

Security officials said heavily armed men entered the building’s detention facility on Saturday after clashing with the building’s guards.Nearby residents said they could hear heavy gunfire and see plumes of smoke rising from the scene of the fighting.

The attackers were reported to have freed a number of people being held at the facility.

The attack came a day after Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an Al Qaeda affiliate, threatened to respond to a government crackdown against its fighters in eastern Yemen. It said on Friday that it would “light up the ground with fire under the tyrants of infidelity in the regime” of Ali Abdullah al-Saleh, Yemen’s president.

The threat came in response to what the group described as aggression against women and children in Wadi Obeida in the province of Maarib, east of Sanaa.

“We … will not stand idle over what is happening to our women and children in Wadi Obeida,” a USA monitoring group SITE quoted a statement from the group as saying.

In late May 2010, Jaber al-Shabwani, a provincial official and three of his bodyguards were killed in a botched air strike in Maarib province that reportedly targeted a wanted member of the Al Qaeda offshoot (see also – Shabwa 12.24.09 ).

The target of the attack, Mohamed Said bin Jardan, was reportedly wounded but managed to escape, according to Yemeni security services. Members of al-Shabwani’s tribe responded to his killing by attacking the pipeline that carries oil from Maarib to Ras Isa, a terminal on the Red Sea coast.

Yemeni tribesmen attacked an oil pipeline, petrol stations and government installations after the raid to avenge the death of al-Shabwani.

AQAP said women and children had died in the air raids, which had also destroyed homes.
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