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Yemen wary of al-Qaida plans in south

March 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

SANAA, Yemen, March 28 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida militants may be working to capture provinces in southern Yemen and attack government buildings, the Yemeni Interior Ministry warned.

Threats from a southern secessionist movement in Yemen are complicated by the presence of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in the area. The Yemeni Interior Ministry said it was wary of al-Qaida activity in the region, the independent Yemen Post reports.

The ministry stressed that al-Qaida militants may be planning car-bomb attacks on government buildings to exert control over parts of the south.

The warning follows a meeting between Yemeni President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi and U.S. Assistance Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman in Sanaa.

Hadi, reports the official Saba news agency, said his country needed major assistance from the United States in order to tackle economic, policy and national security challenges.

"The U.S. help remains essential," he was quoted as saying.

Hadi gained control of Yemen after long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned. Hadi had served as Saleh's vice president and secured the presidency during a one-man race in February.

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