Google news - SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) — US and Iraqi forces swept into a suspected Al-Qaeda hideout north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least seven fighters in a gun battle, Iraqi officials said.
The fighting erupted in a densely wooded area where Al-Qaeda had been regrouping, according to Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Khalaf, the police chief in the nearby town of Dhuluiyah.
"Seven members of Al-Qaeda were killed in the fighting, including a suicide bomber who blew himself up during the clashes, and another nine were arrested including a prominent terrorist called Uthman Tariq Ismail," he said.
He said some of those killed were from other Arab countries, without naming them, and that the bodies had been sent to the main hospital in the northern city of Tikrit for identification.
US and Iraqi forces have allied with local tribes and former insurgents over the past two years to drive Al-Qaeda out of most of its former strongholds.
But attacks against security forces and civilians bearing the hallmarks of the terror group are still common in some parts of the country, including the capital.
At least 150 people were killed in attacks in Iraq over the past week, including 65 people who died in a twin suicide bombing on Friday outside Baghdad's most holy Shiite shrine.
Mullah Nadhem al-Juburi, the head of a US-allied Sunni militia in Dhuluiyah targeted by a suicide bomber who struck a mosque last week, said security forces had not previously operated in the area of Sunday's assault.
"This whole area had been taken over by the Sahwa, but Al-Qaeda had recently started reorganising there," he said, referring to the Sahwa "Awakening" movement of tribes and former insurgents who have turned on Al-Qaeda.
He said the operation followed US aerial bombing and the dropping of paratroopers over the area.
Under a security pact signed with Washington in November, US troops are to withdraw from all Iraqi cities and major towns by June 30 and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011.
The government of Yemen and donors held the fourth follow-up meeting today in Sana’a to discuss the progress made in the Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) and the level of aid absorption in the last quarter of this year.
The meeting was chaired by the Yemeni Prime Minister, the Chairman of Executive Bureau to Accelerate Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms Board (EB), Eng. Khalid Bahah, from the government and the World Bank, G4 and GCC Mission representing donors. The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Planning, Finance, Transport, Public Works, Trade number of deputies and government institutions chairmen.
The meeting, which was attended by GCC ambassadors and donors representatives as well as private sector, parliament and CSO representatives, has discussed the policy reforms implementation and absorption of donors’ aid included in the EB’s annual report. The meeting also debated the next steps and mutual commitments of both the government and donors.
Mrs. Amatalim Alsoswa, the EB’s Managing Director, welcomed the attendees and highlighted the significance of the meeting which was held after the formation of the technocratic government led by PM Eng. Khaled Bahah. She also said that the meeting was held after one year passed since the launching of the EB under which worked under exceptional security, political, economic and stability challenges.
“The Yemeni government and donors community should agree on a work plan and a mechanism to increase the level of allocation, approval and disbursement of the remaining funds as well as the development of a National Plan for the Foreign Aid as it represents a primary indicator and regulator of the GoY-donors relationship from one side, and the government.” Mrs. Alsoswa said.
From his side, the Prime Minister stressed that the cabinet targeted a number of priorities in its program. The primary priorities were security, stability, spreading State’s control and push the economic development wheel forward. “The government is working to make the best use of the donors’ pledges and reach high absorption rates for these resources
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the Tuesday bomb attacks in Radaa city in Bayda province, which killed more than 25 people, including at least 15 schoolgirls.
"There is absolutely no justification for such cowardly terrorist acts that brutally take the lives of innocent civilians, including children", said a statement read by Spokesman for UN Secretary-General.
The statement called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
In the statement , the UN Secretary-General expressed his sympathies and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous attacks.
The UN Secretary General Advisor on Yemen Affairs Jamal Binomar condemned on Friday the two terrorist attacks which took place on Tuesday in Rada city, Al-Baidha governorate, claiming the lives of 26 people, mostly children.
In a statement issued on Friday, Binomar said that: “As we offer our condolences to the families of the victims, we condemn these two terror attacks.”
An informed source in the local authority in Hodeidah governorate has said that terror elements attacked one of the “Ansar Allah” popular committees location in Kornish street using a booby-trapped car.
members of the popular committees confronted the attack killing two suicide bombers before they blew themselves up while the two others managed to blow themselves up.
The Parliament approved in its meeting on Thursday the Government's general program and voted unanimously to give confidence to the government.
After completing the discussion of the government program, the parliament listened to a report by the parliamentary committee on the main observations made during the debates and directed a number of recommendations to the government
The Republic of Yemen has strongly denounced the Israeli aggression which led to the killing of the Palestinian Minister and Head of Popular Committee Against the Settlement and Apartheid Ziad Abu Ain.
"While the Republic of Yemen denounces this brutal assault, it shoulders Israel the responsibility of this atrocious act that contradicts humanitarian values," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a release issued on Wednesday.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has held in Amman, Jordan, a four-day workshop on the implementation of Yemen's project portfolio.
The workshop, which started on Monday, also intends to review the general conditions and adopted procedures for all IFAD projects and financing agreements.
Representatives of at least 30 relevant bodies take part in the workshop, including Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF), and Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Finance, Agriculture and Fisheries.
At the opening session of the workshop, Yemen's project portfolio Director Mohammed Abdul-Qader talked about the importance of applying the IFAD-adopted procedures and regulations of the financing agreement and the general conditions to implement projects, stressing that IFAD's all projects aim to eradicate poverty in rural areas.