Airstrike on Yemen Mosque Kills 7

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 8:15 am (UTC-5)
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Officials and witnesses say a Yemeni jet has bombed a mosque in the south of the country, killing seven people.

An official told the French news agency that the airstrike in Jaar Monday was an error and that the military had intended to hit a smaller mosque that was overrun by suspected al-Qaida insurgents.

Militants took control of Jaar in April. They have a strong presence in the region, which has seen frequent battles between Yemeni security forces and al-Qaida insurgents.

The violence comes just days after Yemeni officials said a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint in the country's volatile south, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others.

The officials said the bomber drove up to the checkpoint on the road between the port city of Aden and Zinjibar Saturday and blew himself up.

Earlier Saturday, military sources and medical officials said another three soldiers and 12 militants were killed in clashes between Islamists and military units advancing on Zinjibar.

Unrest caused by militants has increased amid political turmoil, with protesters calling for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation. The embattled president is recovering in neighboring Saudi Arabia from wounds sustained in an assassination attempt in June.