Yemen says forces clash with Qaeda, seize militant

SANAA Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:37am EST

SANAA Dec 30 (Reuters) - Yemeni security forces clashed with al Qaeda fighters in western Hudaydah province on Wednesday, wounding several, a Yemeni official said.

One militant was also captured in the gunbattle in the Deir Jaber area, the security official told Reuters. He gave no further details.

Yemen has been thrust into the world spotlight when al Qaeda's regional wing said it was behind the failed Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. passenger plane.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said on Monday it had provided the Nigerian suspect with a "technically advanced device" and told Americans more attacks would come.

Analysts fear Yemen might collapse due to a Shi'ite rebellion in the north, a separatist movement in the south and al Qaeda attacks. The impoverished country borders Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter.

Sanaa has said it killed dozens of al Qaeda members in two attacks this month. (Reporting by Mohamed Sudam; Writing by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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