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Yemeni security forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda operative yesterday in the Hadramut region of southeast Yemen, the interior ministry said.

Haitham bin Saed was identified as a member of the al-Qaeda network and arrested with four bodyguards in the Al-Wadi district, the ministry said on its website, without proving further details.

al-Qaeda's wing in Yemen, which calls itself Jund al-Yemen Brigades, has carried out a series of attacks in recent months targeting the US and Italian embassies and a residential complex which is home to US oil workers.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and one of the poorest countries on the planet, has battled suspected al-Qaeda militants at Washington's behest since the September 2001 attacks in the United States.

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