Car bomb damages local intelligence HQ in southern Yemen, wounds four

ADEN, Yemen Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:04am EDT

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ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants detonated a car bomb outside the local headquarters of Yemeni military intelligence in the southern Lahej province on Tuesday, wounding at least four people, a security source said.

In turmoil since mass protests in 2011 forced out former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen is home to one of al Qaeda's most active branches as well as facing a separatist movement in the south and a Shi'ite Muslim uprising in the north.

The 26 September news website, run by the Yemeni Defence Ministry, quoted a local security source as saying that a Hilux truck was detonated by "terrorist elements" outside the compound in the city of al-Houta, seriously damaging the building and dozens of nearby houses.

It said that two soldiers guarding the building and two civilian passersby were wounded.

Authorities had begun an investigation into the attack, which security sources said carried the hallmarks of militants linked to al Qaeda, the 26 September website said.

Yemen, a U.S-allied Arab country of 25 million near major shipping lanes in the Red and Arabian seas, shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashafa; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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