Monday 5 December 2016

Yemen declares 'open war' against al-Qa'ida

Richard Spencer in Dubai

Published 15/01/2010 | 05:00

Yemen's government declared "open war" on al-Qa'ida yesterday in an abrupt reversal of previous offers to negotiate with the terrorist group.

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At the same time, the country's council of Muslim clerics threatened to call for jihad if foreign troops were sent to Yemen.

"The war security forces launched against al-Qa'ida elements is open whenever or wherever we find these elements," said a government website. "Yemen is determined to clear its territory of al-Qa'ida members."

The warning was issued as the United States, Saudi Arabia and western governments put pressure on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to deal with the al-Qa'ida branch in Yemen, which claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day.

But Muslim clerics said they would declare a holy war if foreign troops entered the country.

"If any party. . . invades the country, then according to Islam, jihad becomes obligatory," said a statement signed by the council, comprising 150 influential clerics. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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