Officials: Al-Qaida attack kills 3 Yemeni soldiers

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By AHMED AL-HAJ, Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Yemeni army post Tuesday, and then al-Qaida militants attacked it, killing at least three soldiers, according to military officials.

The attack was just one of several incidents involving al-Qaida, which has taken advantage of a year of internal turmoil to solidify its positions in southern Yemen.

After the attack on the base in Bayda province southeast of the capital Sanaa, a government airstrike targeted a militants' car traveling in the area. The officials said all four people in the car were killed, including an al-Qaida leader identified as Nasser al-Zafari.

In a third incident, the officials said a Yemeni navy ship fired sea-to-land missiles at two cars carrying al-Qaida militants between the towns of Zinjibar and Jaar in the southern Abyan province.

They said one of the vehicles took a direct hit, killing all five persons inside. The fate of the second car was not known, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

Both Zinjibar and Jaar have been under al-Qaida control for nearly a year.

The officials said sea-to-land missiles were also fired at a munitions factory used as a base by al-Qaida militants outside Jaar. The officials did not have a figure for casualties, but witnesses in the area said they saw militants taking their wounded and dead to a local clinic.

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