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Published: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 10:30:52 PM
Updated: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 10:30:52 PM

Yemeni al Qaeda claims responsibility for Aden bombing

People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack on a police compound in the southern Yemeni city of Aden December 31, 2013. REUTERS/Yaser Hasan

People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack on a police compound in the southern Yemeni city of Aden December 31, 2013. REUTERS/Yaser Hasan

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's wing in Yemen on Thursday claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a police headquarters this week in southern Yemen's main city and said it would make more assaults on the army.

On Tuesday, armed men in several cars, including a suicide bomber, tried to storm police headquarters in the southern port city of Aden, wounding seven policemen, state media reported. The bomber blew himself up in one of the vehicles, which was packed with explosives.

"Those blessed operations against...the security (headquarters) in Aden are only a warning message to this puppet government and its army of mercenaries," al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of the movement, said in a statement.

AQAP blamed the army for a shell that hit a funeral gathering attended by southern separatists in Yemen on Friday, killing 15 people, including children. Witnesses said the shell was fired by a tank.

Gunmen shot and killed Colonel Marwan al-Muqbeli, an officer at the Political Security Office, the domestic intelligence service earlier on Thursday.

The intelligence officer was gunned down by three men in a car who blocked his way as he was driving to work in al-Mualla district in the province of Aden, according to security sources.

While no one claimed responsibility for the killing, Yemeni security sources suspected al Qaeda militants were behind it because of its similarity to previous drive-by shootings.

Ansar al-Sharia, Yemen's main Islamist militant group, seized control of several southern cities when protests rocked the country in 2011. Hundreds of security officers have died in explosions and shootings over the past two years as government forces and allied tribal militias, backed by the United States, fought the militants.

This month, AQAP said it was behind an assault on a Defence Ministry complex in the capital, Sanaa, in which more than 50 people were killed.

(Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Maha El Dahan and Larry King)

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