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Suicide bomber strikes in south Yemen, 2nd attack averted

Source: Reuters - Tue, 31 Dec 2013 08:20 AM
Author: Reuters
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ADEN, Dec 31 (Reuters) - A suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into a police compound in southern Yemen's main city on Tuesday, blowing himself up and wounding four police, security sources said.

Police averted another suicide bombing in the same area of Aden, and they arrested two people who admitted links to al Qaeda, a security source said.

A second explosion struck a police training camp in another part of the city, causing no casualties, the sources said.

Local officials said the suicide bombing had killed two police.

Hundreds of police, soldiers and other security officials have been killed in explosions and shootings over the past two years in southern Yemen, where the government and allied tribal militias are fighting against Islamist militants allied to al Qaeda.

Security in Yemen is of a concern for the United States and Gulf Arab countries given its location next to the biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia and big crude shipping routes through the Red Sea.

This month al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen's branch of the movement, said it was behind an assault on a Defence Ministry complex in the capital Sanaa in which more than 50 people were killed.

The main Islamist militant group, Ansar al-Sharia, took advantage of political chaos during protests in 2011 inspired by the Arab Spring to seize control of several cities in southern areas. The group was repulsed by government forces backed by U.S. drones the following year.

But the insurgents have since regrouped and mounted attacks on government officials and installations.

Yemen also faces deep-rooted poverty, a southern separatist movement, divisions within the army and fighting between Salafi Sunni Muslims and members of the Houthi movement, representing Zaydi Shi'ites, in the country's north. (Reporting By Mohammad Mukhashaf in Aden; Additional reporting by Mohammad Ghobari in Sanaa; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Rania El Gamal, John Stonestreet)

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