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'Qaeda' attack kills three in south Yemen

Al-Qaeda militants attacked a police station in the southern stow of Jaar; absence of security forces in the impoverished province is blamed

AFP , Wednesday 1 Aug 2012
A police armoured personnel carrier patrols following clashes outside the Interior Ministry in Sanaa July 31, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Two Yemeni soldiers and a civilian were killed in an attack on Wednesday by Al-Qaeda militants on a police station in the southern town of Jaar, a local official said.

"Members of Al-Qaeda attacked the station with automatic weapons and hurled a grenade, killing two soldiers and a civilian," said the official.

Abdulaif Sayed, the chief of the local Popular Resistance Committees which fights the Islamists alongside the army, voiced fears of a return of Al-Qaeda militants to the town.

In addition to Jaar, Al-Qaeda gunmen also controlled Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar, which they overran in May last year, before being driven out in a mid-June all-out offensive by the army.

But militants remain in nearby mountains, Sayed said, complaining of an absence of security forces in the province. Locals also expressed fears of a return of the militants.

"Al-Qaeda has disappeared, but life is not really back to normal," said Salama Ahmed, a Zinjibar resident. "The state is absent and there is no water, nor electricity," he said.

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