U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 4 Al Qaeda Militants In Yemen

U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 4 Al Qaeda Militants In YemenA pair of suspected U.S. drone strikes killed four al Qaeda militants in Yemen as the United States maintained a heightened security alert in the country and urged all Americans to leave immediately.

‘Do something’

It is unclear whether the strikes were related to the added security alert in the country after U.S. officials intercepted a message from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to operatives in Yemen telling them to “do something.” The message was sent to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemeni affiliate. U.S. intelligence believes al-Wuhayshi has recently been appointed the overall terror organization’s No. 2 leader.

Also Tuesday, the State Department urged Americans in Yemen to leave immediately, citing terrorist activities and civil unrest. All non-emergency U.S. government personnel were also told to leave. Two U.S. military transport aircraft landed in Yemen on Tuesday to evacuate American citizens.

Acting on the intelligence information, the United States heightened its security stance, issuing a worldwide travel alert and closing a number of embassies and consulates over large areas of the Middle East and Africa this week.


‘Final stages of planning’

Three sources told CNN that the United States has information that members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are in the final stages of planning for an unspecified attack. Recent jailbreaks in Pakistan, Iraq and Libya all have the fingerprints of al Qaeda operations.

Separately, American special forces units overseas have been on alert for the past several days awaiting a mission to attack potential al Qaeda targets if those behind the most recent terror threats against U.S. interests can be identified, a senior Obama administration official told CNN.

When do you think will this security situation go back to normal? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: Elise Labott and Mohammed Tawfeeq | CNN

Image: Global Post

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More Lives

New SARS-Like Virus Claims More LivesA new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread — with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said. The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.

‘Connection to the Middle East’

Although many of the cases have occurred on the Arabian Peninsula, people have died of the infection elsewhere. However, “all of the European cases have had a direct or indirect connection to the Middle East,” the WHO said earlier this month. But “in France and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among close contacts who had not been to the Middle East but had been in contact with a traveler recently returned from the Middle East.”

On Tuesday, a patient died in France after having contracted the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported.


‘Tackle the virus’

Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as well as a variety of animal diseases. However, the new virus is not SARS. The WHO recently gave it a more specific name: Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus, or MERS-CoV.

Health officials do not yet know much about how the virus spreads, which makes it hard for scientists to prevent infections, Chan said. The WHO is calling for the world to pull together its resources to study and tackle the virus.

Have you experienced symptoms of infection of MERS-CoV? Do you think this virus is indeed a threat to the world?

Source: Ben Brumfield, CNN

Image: Press TV