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Aug 18, 2012, 06.03 PM IST
YEMEN-ATTACK:Four soldiers killed in Yemen in attack on intelligence HQ
ADEN (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants in Yemen fired rocket-propelled grenades at the headquarters of the intelligence service in the city of Aden on Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding at least 10 others, a security source and witnesses said.
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 neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.
A U.S.-backed military offensive drove al Qaeda-linked militants from their strongholds in the southern part of the country in June, but they have since stepped up their attacks on government facilities.
In the attack on Saturday, witnesses said militants had fired rocket-propelled grenades at the intelligence service's three-storey building, setting it on fire and shattering its windows.
"The operation seemed to have been well planned," a local security source said, adding he believed the attackers belonged to al Qaeda.
The militants had stopped their vehicle in front of an adjacent television building, blown up a military vehicle, and then opened fire on the intelligence building before fleeing, he added.
The Defence Ministry confirmed in a text message that "four soldiers were martyred in an attack on the political security building" in Aden.
Suspected militants have carried out a series of deadly suicide bombings on high-profile military and security targets since June, attacking a police academy in Sanaa, assassinating the commander of the southern region, and trying to kill the commander of a tribal force allied with the army.
Washington has responded by stepping up its drone strikes on AQAP, which was behind several failed attacks on the United States, including an attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. (Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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