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Al-Qaida strikes back at military

June 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM

SANAA, Yemen, June 18 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida in Yemen said it killed Gen. Mohammed Salem Qatan, the chief military commander for southern Yemen, officials said Monday.

Qatan died when a Somali man linked to al-Qaida exploded a suicide belt as Qatan, who was leading military operations against al-Qaida in the South, headed to his office in Aden.

Mareb Press said the attack came after al-Qaida leaders warned against strikes targeting national and foreign interests in the Arabian Peninsula.

Azzan -- a stronghold of al-Qaida in the southern province of Shabwa -- was liberated Monday after tribal leaders successfully negotiated a peaceful withdrawal, the Yemen Post reported.

Military officers confirmed through the defense ministry Azzan was under the control of the armed forces.

In Zinjibar -- regional capital of the southern province of Abyan previously under the control of al-Qaida -- a landmine explosion killed three civilians, al-Masdar online reported Monday.

The Aden Forum reported foreign embassies advised nationals to exert extreme caution while in Sanaa after the interior ministry warned of more al-Qaida suicide attacks in the capital.

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