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9 Suspects Are Held in Cole Blast

March 17, 2004|From Associated Press

SANA, Yemen — Nine suspects in the 2000 bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole have been arrested, the government of Yemen said Tuesday, including eight who had escaped from prison.

Interior Minister Rashad Eleimi said authorities were closing in on two more suspects still at large after their jailbreak last April in the southern port city of Aden. The bombing in Aden killed 17 U.S. sailors and has been blamed on the Al Qaeda terror network.

Eleimi said the recapture of the escapees was the result of cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

Yemeni authorities, meanwhile, boosted security around embassies and government buildings in the capital, Sana.

A group affiliated with Al Qaeda, the Abu Hafs Masri Brigade, which claimed responsibility for last week's bomb attacks in Spain, has threatened that Yemen will be its next target. The group reportedly said Yemeni authorities should be punished for detaining militants.

Yemen has allied itself with the U.S. war on terrorism.

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