- - Monday, August 23, 2010

YEMEN

Yemeni army kills top Qaeda operative

ADEN, Yemen | Fighting intensified in south Yemen on Monday as the army bombarded supposed al Qaeda fighters who appear to have seized control of the city of Loder while civilians fled.

Authorities said Adel Saleh Hardaba, 27, whom they described as the al Qaeda second in command in the southern city of Loder, was killed in renewed fighting on Monday.

Loder, in Abyan province, has been gripped by deadly clashes since Friday.

“The army is imposing a tight siege on the city, chasing out al Qaeda militants and collaborating gunmen,” a security official said, adding that the military had shelled houses used by militants as launchpads for attacks.

He said many of the militants holed up in the city are believed to be foreigners, notably Saudis and Pakistanis.

At least 29 people, including 11 soldiers, have been killed in clashes that erupted Friday in Loder. Seven purported al Qaeda militants were killed Sunday, while seven others were killed on Friday.

TURKEY

Government to scratch Iran from enemies watch list

ANKARA | Turkey is to remove Iran from a watch list of nations it considers specific threats to its national security, a news report said Monday, amid Western concerns of rapprochement between the two countries.

The updated list is contained in Turkey’s security review, produced by the country’s National Security Council, which will be adopted in October and will no longer refer to Iran as a “specific threat,” the Milliyet newspaper said.

The review replaces a previous edition published five years ago, the newspaper added.

Members of the council, made up of government and military leaders, were not immediately available for comment on the report on Iran, which Western nations accuse of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Turkey’s improved ties with Iran have caused concern in the West. Turkey, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, upset the United States and its Western allies when it opposed a resolution to impose new sanctions on Iran that was adopted by the Security Council in June.

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