SANAA, Yemen — Yemen's army freed eight hostages Tuesday in a raid on an al-Qaida militant hideout, the Supreme Security Committee said.
The committee, the highest security body in the country, said that the raid took place in Hadramawt province. The hostages included six Yemenis, one Saudi and one Ethiopian national, it said.
The committee gave no mention to an earlier account by a security official saying that the raid took place near a major air base called al-Annad, where American anti-terrorism experts help Yemen battle the country's local al-Qaida branch through drone strikes and logistical support.
The committee added that soldiers killed seven suspected militants from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in the attack. The U.S. considers that al-Qaida branch to be the world's most dangerous as it has been linked to several failed attacks on the U.S. homeland.
Impoverished Yemen, troubled both by al-Qaida and the advance of Shiite rebels, has seen foreigners increasingly targeted in kidnap attempts. The U.S. drone strikes, targeting suspected militant gatherings, have become increasingly unpopular in Yemen due to civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, Yemen's Interior Ministry issued a statement Monday warning that several members of the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab organization from Somalia entered the country with the aim of carrying out attacks on government and foreign institutions.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for last week's bus attack in northern Kenya in which 28 non-Muslims were singled out and killed. The Somali rebels said the attack was in retaliation for the closure of four mosques on the Kenyan coast by Kenyan authorities.
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