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Yemen says it has arrested an al-Qaida leader

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[December 01, 2012]  SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemen's Interior Ministry says police have arrested an al-Qaida leader who is one of the country's most wanted fugitives.

The ministry, in a statement late Friday, said Suleiman Hassan Mohammed Murshed Awad was arrested in Zinjibar, the capital of southern Abyan province, once an al-Qaida hotbed. It did not say when he was arrested.

Awad, also known as Abu Osama al-Abi, was "one of the most dangerous criminal elements in al-Qaida who is involved in killing security men and joining others in terrorist attacks on foreign targets in Sanaa."

Washington, which considers Yemen's al-Qaida branch the group's most dangerous offshoot, helped Yemeni troops with airpower and advisers last summer. The offensive drove al-Qaida militants out of southern cities, including Zinjibar.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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