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Yemen Says 30 Al-Qaeda Dead In Air Strike

The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa was targeted in a bomb and rocket attack that killed more than a dozen people in September 2008.
SANAA (Reuters) -- A Yemeni air strike has killed 30 Al-Qaeda militants planning an attack on Yemeni and foreign oil targets, a security official said today.

The air strikes were in the eastern province of Shabwa, said the official, who asked not to be identified. The attacks took place as the militants were gathered for a meeting, he said.

The official said initial reports that two top Al-Qaeda members in the Arabian peninsula had been killed could not be verified.

"We are still unsure if two of the top leaders have been killed or not. One of them is the Saudi Al-Qaeda member Nasser al Weheshi," he added, declining to say whether more strikes would take place today.

Yemen's Supreme Security Committee issued a warning to citizens in the province of Shabwa not to aid the militants.

On December 21, Yemen said its security forces and warplanes last week foiled a planned series of suicide bombings. About 30 Al-Qaeda militants were killed in those air strikes with 17 arrested in Abyan and in Arhab, northeast of the capital, Sanaa.

Yemen, which has intensified its campaign against Al-Qaeda militants over recent weeks, is also facing a Shi'ite rebellion in the north and a secessionist violence in the south.