Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Yemen 'arrests al-Qaeda suspects' wounded in raid

Member of Yemen's anti-terrorism force
Yemeni security forces arrested the al-Qaeda suspects in a hospital

Yemeni forces have arrested three suspected al-Qaeda militants who were wounded in a raid on Monday, security sources say.

They were captured at a hospital north of the capital, Sanaa. AFP news agency says they include Mohammed al-Hanq, a key local al-Qaeda leader.

The arrests came as the UK and France reopened their embassies in Yemen.

They and the US embassy had been temporarily closed in response to what was described as an al-Qaeda threat.

AFP quoted an unnamed security official saying: "Mohammed al-Hanq and two others who were wounded were captured in a hospital in Amran."

The agency said the local al-Qaeda leader was thought to be behind the security threats that had prompted the embassy closures.

Failed bomb plot

The British embassy said its public services still remained closed, and that the security situation was being assessed on a daily basis.

The US had reopened its embassy on Tuesday, saying successful counter-terrorism operations by Yemeni forces had addressed a "specific area of concern".

This was an apparent reference to Monday's raid some 25 miles (40km) north of Sanaa, in which two other suspected members of al-Qaeda were killed.

The difficulties of travel within Yemen have prevented the BBC from independently verifying details of the reported raid.

But the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, in Sanaa, says he saw military jets flying over the capital on Monday afternoon and into the evening, suggesting some kind of operation was under way.

American intelligence officials say the failed plot to bomb a US-bound jet on 25 December originated in Yemen - where the suspect was allegedly trained by al-Qaeda.

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