Yemeni attacker sentenced to death

Separatist convicted of planting bombs that killed four at a sports club in Aden.

Yemeni Fares Abdullah Saleh (C) gestures as he is sentenced to death at a special criminal court in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on December 11, 2010. Saleh is convicted of bombings that reportedly killed at least three people at a sports club in Aden. AFP PHOTO/STR
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SANA'A // Yemen's state security court in Aden yesterday sentenced a 25-year-old Yemeni man to death for attacks on a sports club in the city of Aden that killed four people.

Faris Abdullah Saleh was convicted of planting two explosives at the al Wahda sports club offices on October 11. The bombs also left 15 people injured, prosecutors said.

Ra'ed Abdullah Saleh, a brother of the convict, was sentenced to five years in prison for collaborating in the crime. Three other co-defendants - another brother, Ali, Hazem Yahya Saleh and Mukhtar Mohsen Ahmed - were acquitted.

Security sources said the Salehs were members of the separatist Southern Movement, which is seeking independence from the north.

The explosions occurred one month before the Gulf Cup football tournament in Aden and Zinjibar. The government deployed 30,000 troops to safeguard the event.

Southern Movement activists protested against the verdict in Dhal'e by burning tyres and blocking the road linking the capital, Sana'a, with Aden.

Also yesterday, the state security court of appeals in Sana'a upheld the jail sentences of four al Qa'eda militants convicted of plotting attacks on foreign interests and tourists. They had been sentenced in January to jail terms of between seven and 10 years.

Hussein al Marwalah, whose 10-year sentence was upheld, shouted from the dock: "We tell Obama's administration that we are coming and the Arab rulers that we are foreseeing the end of their regimes … We are going ahead with jihad."

In the city of Mukalla, a court sentenced 12 al Qa'eda suspects yesterday to jail terms between four and seven years after convicting them of forming an armed group and planning attacks, according to the defence ministry website.

The defendants were also found guilty of procuring passports with the intention of using them to join al Qa'eda in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia as well as sheltering al Qa'eda militants from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.