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At least one civilian dead in Yemen air strike against Qaeda

17 October 2010 - 22:37 By Sapa-AFP

Two air strikes against suspected Al-Qaeda hideouts in southern Yemen killed at least one civilian on Sunday, security and medical sources said.

A security official said the raids targeted mountainous areas in Shuuba and Nakh Ain, between the Abyan province towns of Loder and Mudia where eight soldiers were killed last week in ambushes blamed on Al-Qaeda militants.

An elderly man, Fajaa Ahmed Mussaad, was killed and two women were wounded in Shuuba, a medical source at Loder hospital where the casualties were taken told AFP.

He said more casualties were expected to be brought in from a later air strike on Nakh Ain.

Security officials said Al-Qaeda gunmen ambushed a military convoy and killed three soldiers on Saturday, two days after a similar ambush killed five soldiers in the same area of Abyan.

Southern Yemen has seen a growing number of attacks by suspected Al-Qaeda militants, who have taken advantage of popular opposition in the south to the central government in Sanaa.

On Sunday, Yemeni authorities tightened security measures around the British and US embassies in Sanaa after diplomatic missions warned of the heightened risk of attacks.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, faces a growing threat from the global jihadist network's local branch.