Yemeni Jet Mistakenly Bombs Army, Kills 30

Dead soldiers had defected, demanded Saleh's resignation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 2, 2011 1:17 PM CDT
A defected army soldier stands guard while protestors attend a demonstration to demand the resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.   (Hani Mohammed)
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(Newser) – A government warplane mistakenly bombed an army position in southern Yemen, killing at least 30 soldiers and wounding many more, military and medical officials said today. The officials said the bombing, which took place last evening in the southern Abyan province, targeted an abandoned school used as shelter by soldiers of the army's 119th Brigade. The school is located just east of Abyan's provincial capital Zinjibar, where militants linked to al-Qaeda have been in control since May.

Heavy fighting has been raging in the area for days as part of the army's monthslong campaign to seize back Zinjibar from the militants. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were unconfirmed reports that militants arrived at the school soon after the airstrike and killed an unspecified number of wounded troops. The airstrike may raise questions about whether the bombing was a mistake since the troops that were hit had sided against President Ali Abudullah Saleh in the country's political crisis.

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