The Yemen-based wing of militant outfit Al-Qaeda has threatened to "cleanse the land" with a new army of 12,000 fighters.
"We have a good news for the Islamic nation, that an army of 12,000 fighters is being prepared in Aden and Abyan," Xinhua quoted Mohamed Saied al-Omda, field commander of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as saying in an audio recording posted on a website Thursday.
"By this army, we will establish an Islamic Caliphate," said al-Omda, referring to Yemen's southern province of Abyan and the port city of Aden.
"This is a message to the Yemeni government security and the National security Service: our swords are ready and we are resolved to cleanse the land," he said.
The Al Qaeda commander also accused the government of "allying with the US-led crusader military campaign", which "killed innocent Muslims and destroyed homes and mosques in the provinces of Abyan and Marib under the approval of the Yemeni government".
The Al Qaeda commander vowed to repeat "more deadly attacks similar to the one that attacked the Yemeni intelligence headquarters in the port city of Aden in June".