Two foreign jihadists killed in Yemen, two captured: govt

9th May 2014, Comments 0 comments

Yemeni forces have killed two foreign Al-Qaeda fighters -- a Saudi and a Dagestani -- and captured two French citizens of Tunisian origin also belonging to the group, state media said Friday.

State news agency Saba, quoting a military source, named one of the jihadists as Timur al-Dagestani, and said he was an explosives expert from Russia's Dagestan.

The second death was reported on the website of the defence ministry, identifying the man as the "terrorist" Turki Abdelrahman of Saudi Arabia, also known as Abu Wahib.

Both were killed in the southern Shabwa province, where the army has pressed an offensive against strongholds of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) since April 26, the reports said.

It was not clear when they were killed.

Saba said the suspected French jihadists were arrested on Thursday as they were trying to flee the country from an airport that it did not identify.

Saba named them as Taha al-Issawi and Murad Abdullah Ebad. It said both were aged 32 and had fought in the ranks of Al-Qaeda in the eastern province of Hadramawt.

AQAP -- formed out of a merger of the network's Yemeni and Saudi branches -- has denied President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi's allegations that 70 percent of its fighters are foreigners.

But authorities have reported the deaths of several foreigners since launching the latest offensive was launched in Shabwa, as well as Abyan and Baida provinces.

On Wednesday, the army said an Algerian, a Pakistani and a Saudi were among several foreigners killed, with authorities also speaking of Afghans, Somalis and Chechens.

They have also said several Al-Qaeda local and foreign commanders are among the scores killed in nearly a fortnight.

© 2014 AFP

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