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Yemen Claims 3 Al-Qaida Militants Captured in Connection with Embassy Threat

VOA News 06 January 2010

Yemeni officials say police have arrested three al-Qaida militants responsible for a security threat that prompted a two-day closure of Western embassies in the capital.

Officials say the three militants fled a Yemeni government assault Monday and sought treatment for their wounds at a hospital north of Sanaa. It says police arrested the militants at the hospital and detained four other people suspected of hiding them there.

Yemen's government says its forces killed two al-Qaida militants in Monday's operation, but the group's suspected local leader, Mohammed Ahmed al-Hanaq, escaped.

The United States, Britain and France re-opened their embassies in Sanaa Tuesday. Washington said Yemen had "successfully addressed" concerns about a possible al-Qaida attack on the foreign missions.

Yemen's interior ministry said Tuesday it has taken additional security measures to ensure the safety of embassies and foreigners in the capital.

It also announced the arrest of five suspected al-Qaida members in Sanaa and the western region of Hodeida.

Yemen's government also says it has sent thousands of troops to three provinces: Arhab, Jawf and Ma'arib, in an ongoing offensive against al-Qaida.

Yemen-based Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula says it was behind a Nigerian man's unsuccessful attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound airplane on Christmas Day, December 25. The Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has told U.S. investigators he was trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.



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