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Dagestani Militant in Yemen

Security forces in Yemen have arrested 14 al-Qaida militants, including a man from Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus, who were plotting a series of attacks, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

The militants were planning to target army and civilian leaders as well as foreign interests, the ministry said, and they had been operating in three cells, the largest of which fought the army in the south of the country, where militants until recently held territory.

Government troops last month drove Islamist fighters out of several towns they controlled in the south of the country as they pressed ahead with a U.S.-backed offensive to quash Ansar al-Sharia, a tenacious offshoot of al-Qaida.

The group, meaning Partisans of Islamic Law, has exploited instability in the Arabian Peninsula to gain a foothold in Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.


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