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Al-Qaida Leader in Yemen Surrenders

Security officials in Yemen say an al-Qaida leader in the country's north has surrendered to authorities.

The officials said Juman Safian turned himself in on Saturday in the province of al-Jouf. They did not release additional details.

Yemen recently intensified its campaign against the group's local branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, following a series of deadly attacks on government targets.

Earlier this month, al-Qaida threatened to target anyone who supports Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh or what it called the "crusader campaign" by the United States.

Separately, Yemeni officials said Saturday that militants had gunned down a security officer in the southern province of Lahej.

They said the attack took place late Friday.

Yemen's government first started cracking down on the al-Qaida branch after it claimed responsibility for the failed bombing of a U.S.-bound passenger jet on December 25.

Al-Qaida is just one of the problems facing Yemen's western-backed government. It has also been trying to confront a wave of action by separatists in the south as well as from Shi'ite Houthi rebels in the north.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.