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YEMEN 11 killed in attack on government buildings

US has been pouring aid into Yemen to stem Al Qaida threat

By Saeed Al Batati, Correspondent
August 18, 2012

Sana’a: At least eleven Yemen soldiers and many other injured on Saturday in two simultaneous attacks on government office in the southern port city of Aden, local media sources said.

Aden Al Ghad, independent website, said a vehicle carrying six militants fired an RPG rocket on an armed vehicle guarding Aden radio before storming the building and killing some soldiers who were sleeping. The militants entered the soldier’s room and fired a barrage of bullets on them. Local sources said that some of the radio’s journalists were also hurt in the attack.

At the same time, other militants similarly attacked the neighbouring intelligence building, killing at least eleven soldiers. The Ministry of Defence said that a suicide bomber stormed the building with his car, causing a thunderous explosion that destroyed part of the building. Some bodies are said to be trapped under the debris.

Intelligence office across the country have been frequently attacked by Al Qaida militants. On June 19 2010, Al Qaida militants raided the intelligence building in the city of Aden killing 11 persons.

The US has been pouring aid into Yemen to stem the threat of attacks from Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and to try to prevent any spillover of violence into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

A US-backed military offensive drove Al Qaida-linked militants from their strongholds in the southern part of the country in June, but they have since stepped up their attacks on government facilities. In the attack on Saturday, witnesses said militants had fired rocket-propelled grenades at the intelligence service’s three-storey building, setting it on fire and shattering its windows. “The operation seemed to have been well planned,” a local security source said, adding he believed the attackers belonged to Al Qaida.

“The militants had stopped their vehicle in front of an adjacent television building, blew up a military vehicle, and then opened fire on the intelligence building before fleeing,” he added. The Defence Ministry confirmed in a text message that “four soldiers were martyred in an attack on the political security building” in Aden. Suspected militants have carried out a series of deadly suicide bombings on high-profile military and security targets since June, attacking a police academy in Sanaa, assassinating the commander of the southern region, and trying to kill the commander of a tribal force allied with the army.

Washington has responded by stepping up its drone strikes on AQAP, which was after several failed attacks on the United States, including an attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

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