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thedrifter
04-14-03, 07:26 AM
13, 2003

Yemeni police arrest 12 in search for Cole bombing suspects

Associated Press


SAN‘A, Yemen — Police searching for 10 suspects in the bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole, who escaped from prison this week, have arrested more than 12 people in connection with the investigation.
Officials close to the investigation said Sunday that those arrested included family members of the fugitives. It was not clear when they were detained.

The 10 men escaped Friday from the tightly guarded intelligence prison building in Aden, dealing a major blow to the investigation into the Oct. 12, 2000, attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors and was blamed on the al-Qaida terror network.

A massive manhunt is underway for them, including chief suspect Jamal al-Badawi, who allegedly bought the dinghythat was packed with explosives and rammed by suicide bombers into the anchored destroyer refueling in the southern Yemeni port of Aden.

An Interior Ministry official said earlier the fugitives escaped through a hole in a bathroom wall inside their detention room. Officials close to the investigation gave a slightly different account, saying they smashed a window inside the building and fled.

Investigators believe the fugitives left Aden toward Yemen’s northern provinces including Shabwah, an area regarded as an al-Qaida stronghold, or the Red Sea port of Al-Hudaydah, southwest of the capital San‘a and home to some of the fugitives.

Prison officers and Aden security officials are being questioned in the investigation, the official said.

A U.S. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Yemeni authorities are working closely with the Americans in the investigation. He did not elaborate.

Yemen, a tribal-dominated country on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, committed itself to joining the war on terrorism following the Sept. 11 attacks. It has allowed U.S. forces to enter Yemen and train its military.




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Copyright 2003 The Associated Press


Sempers,

Roger