SANAA, Yemen, July 31 (UPI) — The Yemeni military admitted Sunday that its airstrikes have accidentally killed at least 11 allied tribesmen fighting Islamic extremists.
The bombing took place near Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province in the south, where al-Qaida-linked fighters took over in May and have been at war with the government.
“We give our condolences to the brave tribal fighters who were killed in the Abyan air attack,” an official who would not be named told CNN. “Coordination between the tribes and the government forces is limited, and that is why the raid missed its target.”
Hundreds of tribal leaders met in the capital, Sanaa, Saturday to form an alliance against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is still recuperating in Saudi Arabia from an assassination attempt nearly two months ago.
They chose Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, leader of the major Hashed tribe, as their chairman. In a speech he vowed, “Saleh will not rule Yemen after today as long as I live.”