Source: Reuters, 19/08/2010
ADEN-Five policemen were seriously injured in south Yemen when an attacker on a motorbike threw a hand grenade into their midst before riding off, a security official said.
The midnight bombing on Wednesday at the police station of Jaar, a town in the southern province of Abyan, was the latest in a string of attacks on security personnel in south Yemen since June, most of which have been claimed by al Qaeda militants.
Security forces have launched a search for the attacker, the official told Reuters. He said the bombing followed gunbattles between security forces in Jaar and unidentified gunmen, in which nobody was killed or injured.
Al Qaeda's campaign against government forces in southern Yemen marks a widening of tactics for the global militant group's Yemeni arm, which has clashed with the authorities for many years but previously focussed on high profile attacks against foreign targets.
Western powers have long feared that al Qaeda is exploiting instability in Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia, to strengthen its operations and launch attacks abroad.
In December the group's Yemen wing claimed an attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound passenger plane.
With U.S.-backing, the Yemeni government subsequently launched a major crackdown against al Qaeda, who had long made use of Yemen's impenetrable mountains and deserts to hide and set up training camps.
The start of the attacks in June came as Yemen was already struggling with increasingly bloody tit-for-tat violence between security forces and a southern separatist movement.
The government is also still reeling from the latest round in an ongoing war against northern rebels that ended with a truce in February.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mokhashef; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; editing by Myra MacDonald)