SANA, Yemen - A suicide attacker driving a pickup truck packed with explosives blew himself up outside an army camp in Yemen’s coastal city of Aden yesterday, killing at least eight soldiers and wounding dozens, security officials said.
The officials said the blast took place near the gate of the camp as a column of vehicles loaded with troops and supplies was preparing to leave for nearby Abyan province to take part in fighting against Al Qaeda-linked militants.
Among the dead were two senior officers, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Yemen, an impoverished nation in the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is home to one of the most active Al Qaeda branches in the world.
Additionally, Yemen is in the midst of a six-month political crisis, with near-daily protests demanding that longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.
The US fears Al Qaeda will take advantage of the unrest to expand its haven in the country and plot attacks against the West.
On Wednesday, a bomb planted in a sport utility vehicle killed a British man in Aden. Authorities announced yesterday that they had arrested five suspects in that attack.
Officials have repeatedly warned that Al Qaeda-linked militants were infiltrating the port city just beyond the southern mouth of the Red Sea to prepare for attacks there against Yemen’s security forces.
The militants control two cities in neighboring Abyan province and have held on to them in the face of numerous airstrikes and a ground offensive by government forces.
SyriaSyrian troops stormed a northwestern village yesterday, making sweeping arrests in a region where the army has been conducting operations for weeks to crush growing dissent against the regime.
At day earlier, Syria’s Army War College in the city of Homs was struck by explosions, injuring about 30 soldiers and security personnel, the official Syrian Arab News Agency said.
The government denied reports that the attack was a sign of divisions within the country’s military.
Syrian authorities have unleashed a brutal crackdown in an effort to put down a four-month-old uprising.
LibyaGermany will lend Libya’s rebel leadership $144 million to help with the country’s rebuilding and humanitarian needs.
The German Foreign Ministry said yesterday that it was granting urgently needed funding as a loan because frozen assets related to Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy cannot yet be released.
JordanJordan’s Parliament passed a law allowing the formation of the country’s first teachers union, meeting a demand of proreform activists.
The union will make it easier for Jordan’s roughly 61,000 teachers to negotiate higher salaries and pensions. The government has been reluctant to license the union but bowed to pressure after months of street protests.