This is a first-person report posted by a Demotix photo-journalist in Yemen, Saleh Maglam. I have tried to leave his text intact, while separating it into paragraphs for readability.
There was an air raid of the U.S. unmanned aircraft targeted a car carrying 3 people from al-Qaeda in the city of Shibuya Azzan in South Yemen, hours after I was there in the heart of the event.
We arrived at noon to the city of Azzan that Al Qaeda control of it since 3 months and converted to the Islamic state under the rule of al-Qaeda.
When you enter the city we have seen cars carrying armed groups of al-Qaeda as they roam the streets of the city, the spectrum for the purpose of securing the city, according to the citizen Nasser Almkhor of the sons of the city, He told us that the city’s population exodus Daw trip in anticipation of the outbreak of the war on al Qaeda here, especially after the aggravation of air strikes and raids targeting al-Qaeda center of vital places in the city, sent fear and anxiety in the hearts of the citizens.
He told us one of the citizens advise you that I imagine it is a piece a danger you said another citizen if you want photography might shoot you by the crumbs have pointed his finger towards a security patrol with an armed group of al-Qaeda, we stayed in the city for 3 hours under the heat of the sun and we are looking for a safe place to start our press releases, at half past three pm there was a car four-wheel drive in the form of an ambulance taking place in the streets and called out over loudspeakers to announce the time for Asr prayer continue to appeal through the loudspeaker of citizens for them to go to the mosque to perform the Asr prayer.
After the Asr prayer we decided to go to the adventure We went to the media center to al-Qaeda, made of wood and sheet tin, there’ve met a young and handsome appearance told him that we are on a mission press the Btgeradna of all our papers supporting and Card Application employer journalist told him that it is not available to us after a request to wait a bit and returned to us after a quarter hours to Astahibna to an unknown destination.
We walked on foot in the road told us that he called Eboumhmed have tried to assure us that things will be okay probably tried to absorb the fear, then we got to near the military barracks said now you can imaging when necessary imaging TVA come have appeared to us a group masked men carrying light and medium weapons shouted one of them wait to imagine they were drinking tea and then they asked me to come and access to military barracks to drink tea with them.
I felt a bit concerned I tried Astltafhm I said thank you for no need I’m in a hurry I have important work should be completed quickly, but they insisted all of them to me in the barracks, which They were holed up in which I told them I am afraid that cost me a cup of tea my life may come a plane without a pilot to aim the barracks and lose my life with you I am a journalist not to blame me, then blew up laughing to hear my talk.
I went in and sat on the ground gave me one cup of tea milk they are young to Atifon in the form of ghosts aged between 18-25 years, conducted a short interview with their leader, who was sitting next to me left I asked him about the nature of their relationship with people and why there was a merger of the community with them?
He said that there is an understanding between them and the people here, especially in light of the work of al-Qaeda to provide services to the people said we are applying the law of God has told us an example where he said yesterday, we apply the al-Shara on a person drunk where we have his life for forty lashes according to the provisions of Islamic law, he said.
We came out of the military barracks at another place I have Aqtadenei (Eboumhmed) to the car Suzuki small size was inside two of the young al-Qaeda asked me Eboumhmed climb into the car.
I felt scared Ajtahani maybe I imagined it would be a journey of death, accompanied by (the ghosts of the rule) but I rejected the piece I they must forgive me I prefer to walk on foot, because I got to the car could put my life in danger.
We have resumed the man, Abu Mohammed walk after we left the car we walked for a distance of 5 km Aqtadenei Eboumhmed to the streets in the background during the walked in the way you held a conversation with him
I asked him about the position of al-Qaeda of revolutions Arab spring, especially against the regime in Yemen said this Alandma agent of America has misrepresented the Arab peoples of the Islamic religion of these systems have been applied all Maatmlah the U.S. policy we want to implement Islamic law.
In answering a question about how to read al-Qaeda elements of U.S. policy toward al-Qaeda? He said America has always relied in dealing with al Qaeda on the policy of separating the base for Islamic societies American policy is always classified as al-Qaeda as an entity eccentric and not related to the lives of Arab society and Islamic world.
We completed the dialog when we got to the place told us that Abu Mohammed that site air strike targeted three of al-Qaeda yesterday evening (Friday), including an explosives expert Syrian, and two Yemenis, one of them named Abu Hamza also told us is no longer the car found in the place They have withdrawn to a secret location not see is parts of the car’s tires, ash and coal black fragments volatile.
On the wall of the house opposite to place the air strike, the sun on Saturday is about to sunset I said to leave me long distance and flight search tired for a car take me to return to the points of which I came of them, dark and still their cars with black roaming the streets for a moment the ears of Morocco I was in distress.
Search for a car to travel and leave the city for Manna one patrol base was on board, about a dozen young, masked and armed men came to me shouted one of them to me, saying it was time for Maghrib prayer you have to go unless we will Bokhzk to the prison complied with it.
After the prayer crept in the darkness and found the taxi left the city Azzan and the ghosts of Al Qaeda is still moving amid the darkness of the city center can see you this darkness to blazing light of the future? Question I’ve been throughout my way back from a trip with the ghosts of death that I felt it in all my movements Ajtahani with al-Qaeda, I returned from my trip if I created from a new and perhaps wrote me a new life.
- AQAP kills 17 Yemeni troops in southern Yemen (longwarjournal.org)
- US drone strikes kills 5 AQAP fighters in southern Yemen (longwarjournal.org)
- 45 Al Qaeda Terrorists Killed in Yemen (israelnationalnews.com)
- ANALYSIS – U.S. focus on al Qaeda may slow Yemen army reform (firstpost.com)
- Yemen air raids ‘target al-Qaeda militants near Bayda’ – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)