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Yemeni President Vows More Arrests in US Embassy Attack


Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh is threatening to track down Islamic militants and arrest them inside their houses, following a crackdown, yesterday, in which at least 25 alleged suspects in Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa were detained. For VOA, Edward Yeranian reports from Beirut.

Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh minced no words in condemning the perpetrators of Wednesday's attack against the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa and all other attacks on foreigners, calling them a "blow to Yemen's national interests."

Using an angry and accusatory tone to his voice, President Saleh suggested that Islamic extremists must be arrested "wherever they may be."

"Attacks against foreigners damage our nation, our national interests, and national stability," he said. "God willing, we will track down the perpetrators in their hiding places and even grab them from their houses."

Addressing a gathering in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, the president also asserted that Islamic extremists branding slogans like "death to America" and "death to Israel" to stir up public wrath were "harming the security and stability of their country."

The State Department warned U.S. citizens this week to avoid unessential travel to Yemen.

Al-Arabiya TV reported, yesterday, that the Yemeni government had arrested several dozen Al-Qaida suspects, allegedly involved in the car bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy.

No Americans inside the embassy compound were hurt, but at least 16 other people were killed, including a U.S. citizen outside the main gate, in the multi-pronged attack apparently involving two car bombs.

A team of U.S. investigators was reportedly sent to Yemen to examine evidence from the attack and to interrogate suspects.

It was the second attack on the U.S. Embassy in six months and the bloodiest since the October 2000 attack against the destroyer USS Cole in the harbor of the Yemeni port city of Aden, in which 17 American sailors died.

An organization calling itself Islamic Jihad in Yemen is claiming responsibility for Wednesday's attack and is threatening to hit other Arab and Western embassies in Yemen and elsewhere in the Gulf. A spokesman for the group is also demanding that Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh release Islamic militants being held in Yemeni jails.

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