Gunfire outside Yemeni intelligence HQ in Aden

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 21, 2012 4:06 AM
Gunfire outside Yemeni intelligence HQ in Aden

DUBAI (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants fought security guards at a Yemeni intelligence headquarters in the southern port city of Aden on Monday night, two days after 14 people were killed in an attack on the same building.

The assailants fired machineguns from a nearby hill overlooking the building and the state television headquarters next to it, a local official and residents said. Guards responded but no one was hurt.

Suspected al Qaeda-linked militants killed at least 14 Yemeni soldiers and security guards on Saturday in a car bomb and grenade attack on the intelligence service headquarters.

A security official said on Tuesday that a car used in the attack had been found and one suspect arrested.

The United States has been pouring aid into Yemen to stem the threat of attacks from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and to try to prevent any spillover of violence into neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.

Last year, a U.S.-backed offensive drove al Qaeda offshoot Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) from cities it had seized in a revolt against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

But Islamist militants have carried out several suicide bombings on high-profile military and security targets since June, exposing the government's vulnerability.

Early on Tuesday, an explosion caused by sabotage hit a gas pipeline feeding the country's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal, Yemen LNG said.

Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have been repeatedly sabotaged since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011 that armed groups have exploited, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished country. (Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Alistair Lyon)