Yemen opposition says govt attacks killed 49 civilians
Yemen's opposition said the government attacks killed dozens of civilians, including whole families, in raids a day earlier on suspected al Qaeda fighters.
Yemen's opposition accused the government on Friday of killing dozens of civilians, including whole families, in raids a day earlier which the authorities claimed had killed about 30 suspected al Qaeda fighters.
An opposition website quoted sources in Abyan as saying 18 children and 41 men and women were killed in the attack there, eight families losing four to seven members each.
"In a dangerous precedent, ... the Sanaa regime committed a brutal massacre against our people," exiled southern leader Ali Salem al-Beidh said in a statement, calling for an investigation by the United Nations, and by Arab and Muslim countries.
Yemen said on Thursday that security forces and warplanes had foiled a planned series of suicide bombings by attacking targets including a suspected al Qaeda training centre in the southern province of Abyan and sites in Arhab district.
Call for investigation
MP Ali Ashal from the Islamist opposition Islah party called for a parliamentary investigation into the raids.
"We are surprised by this operation, which shows the extreme foolishness of those who ordered it, because they ordered the shedding of innocent blood," Ashal told an opposition website.
Yemen joined the U.S. war on what it says terror in 2001.
More than 74,000 Africans have fled to Yemen this year, a 50 percent increase from 2008 despite the country's instability, according to figures issued on Friday by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.
Reuters Last Mod: 19 Aralık 2009, 09:34