Last Updated: Sat Aug 18, 2012 15:06 pm (KSA) 12:06 pm (GMT)

Militants attack Yemen intelligence HQ, killing 14

moke rises from the site of an attack on the Political Security Agency building, the headquarters of the Yemeni intelligence services in the southern provinces, in the city of Aden. (Reuters)
moke rises from the site of an attack on the Political Security Agency building, the headquarters of the Yemeni intelligence services in the southern provinces, in the city of Aden. (Reuters)

Yemeni security officials say suspected al-Qaida militants have attacked an intelligence headquarters in the country's south, killing fourteen people.

The officials say 11 soldiers and three intelligence officials were killed when militants armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the building in the port city of Aden on Saturday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Six people were wounded, including three employees of the state-run radio and TV station in the adjacent building.

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 told Reuters news agency, 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.

In 2010, al-Qaida launched a deadly attack on the same intelligence building.

The group is active in Yemen and had overrun parts of the south during the country's political turmoil last year.

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 al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which was behind several failed attacks on the United States, including an attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit in December 2009.

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