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Yemen warns citizens against hiding al-Qaeda members

A Yemeni soldier searches for weapons in a vehicle at the check point in Sanaa. Photo: 13 January 2010
Security has been stepped up in and around Yemen's capital, Sanaa

Yemen's authorities have warned citizens against hiding al-Qaeda militants and urged them to co-operate with security forces, state media say.

They quoted an unnamed security source as saying that "the war... against al-Qaeda elements is open whenever or wherever we find these elements".

The warning comes after the alleged leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Yemen was reportedly killed by security forces.

Yemen has vowed to pursue al-Qaeda unless it disarms and rejects violence.

The spotlight was turned on Yemen after the Yemen-based group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said it had carried out a failed bomb attack on a US-bound airliner on 25 December.

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Earlier this week, US President Barack Obama said he had "no intention" of sending American troops to Yemen or Somalia to combat militant groups in those countries.

On Thursday, a group of Yemeni clerics issued a statement, warning that jihad, or holy war, was permitted in the case of any foreign military intervention in the volatile country.

On Wednesday, Yemen's provincial governor, Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi, said that Abdullah Mehdar had been killed in a fire-fight with security forces.

Mehdar is said to have been the leader of an al-Qaeda group in the province of Shabwa, 375 miles (600km) east of the capital Sanaa.

Analysts say al-Qaeda militants have been moving to Yemen after coming under pressure in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and following a crackdown in Saudi Arabia.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
TheStar.com.my Yemen in war with al Qaeda, urges citizens to help - 14 hrs ago
Telegraph Yemen declares 'open war' on al-Qaeda - 17 hrs ago
RTTNews.com Jihad Threatened After Yemen Declares "Open War" On Al-Qaeda - 18 hrs ago
Trade Arabia Yemen declares war on Al Qaeda - 19 hrs ago
Yahoo! News Yemen in war with al Qaeda, urges citizens to help (Reuters) - 20 hrs ago



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