Almotamar.net, Google - A two-day battle between the imam, who wanted to impose Islamic law and Hamas forces left 27 other people dead. The crackdown could allow Hamas to be seen as a bulwark against militancy by the West.
An imam who wanted to impose Islamic law in the Gaza Strip was killed today in an explosion at one of his hideouts, ending a two-day battle between his armed followers and Hamas government forces that left 27 other people dead.
The security crackdown could allow Hamas, which has tried to court favor with the West, to position itself as a moderate Islamic bulwark against militant forces inspired by Al Qaeda.
But the challenge by the imam, Abdel-Latif Moussa, also pointed to splits among Hamas' followers. Residents of the southern city of Rafah, where the clash occurred, said several former Hamas militants were killed while fighting for the imam's group, the Soldiers of the Companions of God.
Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Ghussein said the imam had espoused "perverted ideas and considered all Gazans as unbelievers" and had allegedly orchestrated the bombings of Internet cafes and a wedding party.
The spokesman said Hamas appealed to scholars, clerics and parents to "educate the Palestinian people in correct and moderate Islam."
Moussa provoked the clash Friday by announcing a campaign to impose religious law by force of arms. He made the declaration during a midday sermon in Rafah surrounded by black-clad gunmen who then holed up with him in a mosque and fought off Hamas security forces who besieged the building.
The rebels eventually abandoned the mosque through an underground tunnel and continued the fight from nearby homes. After an overnight lull, a Hamas negotiator approached the imam's hideout in an attempt to talk him into surrendering. An explosion rocked the house, killing the imam, his aide and the negotiator, Ghussein said.
Ghussein said the aide, a Syrian national of Palestinian origin, set off the explosion by detonating a suicide belt. There was no confirmation of the account by the imam's surviving supporters.
GPC celebrated its 32 anniversary where it was found on August 24, 1982 as the first Yemeni political organization with the participation of all political forces.
celebratory events of the GPC were celebrated in the Sana'a and its branches in various governorates of Yemen.
Military units of the second Military Region raided on Monday a villa in 60 street in Mukala, which was used as a den by a terrorist cell to carry out terrorist acts.
A military source at the Military Region command said on Tuesday that the military forces surrounded the villa after receiving the information about the existence of a terrorist cell and clashed with the terrorists.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded on Monday Yemeni authorities to immediately increase protection for media workers in the country.
IFJ's renewed appeal is following an escalation in attacks over the last few days, including the murder of a senior journalist.
According to the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate (YJS), Abdul-Rahman Hameed Aldin, who worked for Sana'a Radio, was shot in the head last Friday [15 August] by an armed group in the capital Sana'a. He was taken to hospital where he passed away the following day.
GPC Leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh, expressed his thanks and appreciation for the brotherly feelings the leaders and representatives of civil society organizations who have expressed strong disapproval and condemnation of the criminal and terrorist attempt that targeted his life through the tunnel, which was dug to his home.
An official military source at the First Military Region said Sunday that the army forces raided on Saturday night a terrorist cell in the city of Cotton and killed four terrorists and arrested five others.
Security forces have destroyed three car bombs in the Sixty-Meter Street in Mukalla, Hadramout governorate before arriving their targets, a military source said on Thursday.
The source said that a number of terrorists were killed and three soldiers wounded during their clashes with the terrorist attackers.
The defense ministry announced to reinforce the armed forces after the militants have killed 14 soldiers near Shibam city, Hadramout governorate.
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi along with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh performed on Monday the prayer of Eid al-Fitr at Al-Saleh Mosque in the capital Sana'a.
The Eid prayer was also attended by parliament Speaker, Yahya al-Raei his deputy Hamir al-Ahmer, President Hadi's advisors, and Prime Minister's deputies, Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghr and Abdullah Mohssen al-Akwa'a, besides a number of ministers, military and security leaders, the heads of the political parties, civil society organizations, and social, political and cultural figures.
Assistant General Secretaries and head of the GPC regulatory agency sent telegrams of congratulations on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr on behalf of all the leaders of their regulators sectors to the leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, GPC Chairman, and to Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi - President of Yemen and First Deputy Chairman of the Conference GPC, on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.