Yemeni security forces capture 3 al-Qaida suspects from cell linked to US embassy threat

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yemen: Security forces capture 3 al-Qaida suspects

SAN’A, Yemen — Yemeni security forces arrested three suspected al-Qaida militants from a cell that the U.S. has said was linked to a plot against the American or other embassies, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

The arrests were the latest move in Yemen’s U.S.-backed crackdown on al-Qaida’s offshoot here.

The U.S. and British embassies closed for two days this week, and other Western embassies took security precautions because of a threats that al-Qaida was planning an imminent attack.

The two missions reopened on Tuesday, after the United States said an assault by Yemeni security forces on an al-Qaida cell northeast of the capital a day earlier had “addressed” the threat.

In those clashes, Yemeni forces attacked a group of al-Qaida fighters moving in the mountains in the Arhab region. The troops were aiming to capture al-Qaida’s suspected leader in the area, Mohammed Ahmed al-Hanaq, and a relative Nazeeh al-Hanaq, the ministry said.

They escaped, but two fighters with them were killed and several others were wounded.

On Tuesday, security forces captured three of the wounded militants while they were being treated a hospital in Reyda, a region northwest of the capital, San’a, the ministry said. Also arrested were four people suspected of transporting the militants to the hospital and hiding them there, it said.

No identities were given for the captured militants.

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