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Yemen Arrests French National for Al-Qaida Links

Yemeni security officials say authorities have arrested a French national on suspicion of having links to al-Qaida.

Officials said Sunday authorities detained Jeremy Johnny Witter in late May in the capital, Sanaa.

Investigators say he was studying at the Sanaa Institute for Arabic Language - the same school attended by a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, arrested for trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day (December 25).

Yemeni authorities have arrested dozens of foreigners on suspicion of al-Qaida links since the failed Christmas Day bombing, including at least one American and one Briton.

Yemen intensified its campaign against al-Qaida after the group's local branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the failed bombing.

On Saturday, Yemeni officials said suspected al-Qaida members killed a senior army officer and at least one other person in eastern Maarib province.

The officials say gunmen ambushed the convoy of Colonel Mohammed Saleh al-Shaief as he traveled in the troubled province where al-Qaida is active.

Also Saturday, a security source said an al-Qaida member on Yemen's wanted list, Ghaleb al-Zaydi, surrendered to authorities in Maarib.

In late May, a government airstrike targeting an al-Qaida operative in Maarib instead killed a provincial official, touching off revenge attacks by his kinsmen.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.