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U.S. vows continuing support for Yemen in fighting al-Qaida

06-19-2012 05:07 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Monday denounced the suicide bombing in Yemen that killed a commander of the country's southern military region, vowing continuing U.S. support for the battle against the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

"The United States condemns in strongest terms today's terrorist attack against Major General Salem Ali Qatan, southern regional commander of the Yemeni central security forces," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"Major General Qatan was leading the fight against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in southern Yemen and had recently achieved some very important successes in pushing AQAP out of several Yemeni cities," Nuland told reporters at a regular news briefing, saying Washington will continue its support for fighting the al- Qaida branch.

The general was killed in the southern port city of Aden where his convoy was targeted in a suicide bombing. Some of his bodyguards were injured in the incident.

Several military officials have been assassinated in Yemen in recent months, for which authorities blamed members of the AQAP.

The Yemeni government troops launched an intensive military campaign last month, with the support of the United States and Yemen's oil-rich neighbor Saudi Arabia, with a view to uprooting the al-Qaida militants in the southern regions.

The poor Arab country is in the process of transition following a peaceful transfer of power in November 2011 by long-time leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, a move that ended 11-month mass protests against his rule.

Editor:Wang Shuo |Source: Xinhua

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