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Updated: January 15, 2010 19:44 IST

Yemeni airstrike kills six al-Qaeda suspects

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Yemen's most influential Islamic cleric Sheik Abdel-Majid al-Zindani, considered an al-Qaida-linked terrorist by the United States, talks during a press conference in the capital San'a, on Thursday. A group of prominent Muslim clerics is warning it will call for jihad, or holy war, if the U.S. sends troops to fight al-Qaida in Yemen. Photo: AP.
Yemen's most influential Islamic cleric Sheik Abdel-Majid al-Zindani, considered an al-Qaida-linked terrorist by the United States, talks during a press conference in the capital San'a, on Thursday. A group of prominent Muslim clerics is warning it will call for jihad, or holy war, if the U.S. sends troops to fight al-Qaida in Yemen. Photo: AP.

Six suspected al—Qaeda members are dead after an airstrike on one of the group’s hideouts north—east of the capital Sana’a, Yemen’s Defence Ministry reported on Friday.

The airstrike targeted a desert site between Al—Jaws and Marib provinces.

Further details were not immediately available, but the incident underscores the escalation of tensions in the region, with Yemen now in the spotlight as a possible breeding ground for armed Islamist extremism due to its ongoing civil war and proximity to other hotbeds such as Somalia.

On Thursday, more than 150 Yemeni clerics threatened to declare Jihad if any foreign troops entered the Arab country to fight al— Qaeda.

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