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Yemeni Forces Clash with al-Qaida Militants


Yemeni Forces Clash with al-Qaida Militants
Yemeni Forces Clash with al-Qaida Militants

Government troops reportedly attack 'terrorist network' in western Hudaydah province, capturing at least one and wounding several others

Yemeni forces clashed with al-Qaida militants in Yemen's western Hudaydah province on Wednesday, wounding several suspected militants and capturing at least one.

Yemeni security officials say the fighting took place north of Bajil.

Earlier this week, a group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said it was behind the attempted Christmas Day (December 25) bombing of a U.S. passenger plane. The group issued an Internet statement saying the attack was in retaliation for U.S. support of operations against al-Qaida militants in Yemen.

U.S. officials, who do not want to be identified, say the United States is increasingly providing military aid, including training and equipment, to Yemeni forces.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Yemen's ruling party, Tarek al-Shami, said the government will continue to coordinate with the U.S. to target al-Qaida throughout Yemen.

Yemen has been intensifying its campaign against rebels and suspected al-Qaida terrorists, conducting a series of airstrikes and other raids that it says resulted in militant deaths and arrests.

U.S. intelligence officials and experts say al-Qaida has been building a base in Yemen in recent years.

They say the terrorist network sees Yemen as a new front in its global ambitions, rivaling its current base in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.

Yemen is the ancestral home of al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.

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