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Yemen authorities searching for al-Qaida Defense Ministry attackers

Dec. 9, 2013 at 10:06 AM

SANAA, Yemen, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Yemen's defense chief said authorities were looking for attackers who killed at least 52 people and injured 167 at the Defense Ministry Sanaa complex last week.

Maj. Gen. Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal, the military's chief of staff, praised Yemini forces who responded to the attack at the ministry and a hospital in the complex and said efforts were under way to find whoever was responsible.

Ashwal met Monday with Karen Sasahara, U.S. charge d'affairs for Yemen, to discuss Yemen's national security situation.

The official Saba News Agency said al-Qaida members carried out the attack.

Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed Ali, Yemen's defense minister, was recently in Washington discussing national security issues with U.S. defense officials.

The State Department, in a briefing on the meeting, said talks focused on the "continued U.S. support for Yemen's historic political transition and continued bilateral security cooperation."

U.S. drones have targeted members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which is the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, as part of a regional counter-terrorism offensive.

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