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Tue May 03 10:31:08 CAT 2016

Yemen says it has arrested an Al-Qaida leader

Sapa-AP | 01 December, 2012 12:14
Soldiers are seen in a building damaged during fighting between the army and al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Yemen's southern province of Abyan, after the army retook it from the militants June 18, 2012. A U.S.-backed military onslaught may have driven Islamist militants from towns in Yemen they seized last year, but many have regrouped into "sleeper cells" threatening anew the areas they vacated, security officials and analysts say. Picture taken June 18, 2012.
Image by: Khaled Abdullah / REUTERS

Yemen's Interior Ministry says police have arrested an al-Qaida leader who is one of the country's most wanted fugitives.

The ministry, in a statement late Friday, said Suleiman Hassan Mohammed Murshed Awad was arrested in Zinjibar, the capital of southern Abyan province, once an al-Qaida hotbed. It did not say when he was arrested.

Awad, also known as Abu Osama al-Abi, was "one of the most dangerous criminal elements in al-Qaida who is involved in killing security men and joining others in terrorist attacks on foreign targets in Sanaa."

Washington, which considers Yemen's al-Qaida branch the group's most dangerous offshoot, helped Yemeni troops with airpower and advisers last summer. The offensive drove al-Qaida militants out of southern cities, including Zinjibar.

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