Yemen suicide bomber kills three in Abyan militia offices

Updated 16 November 2012
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Yemen suicide bomber kills three in Abyan militia offices

ADEN: A suicide bomber linked to Al-Qaeda killed himself and three others inside the headquarters of government-allied militias in the capital of southern Yemen’s Abyan province on Friday, a security source and medical sources told Reuters.
The man, wearing an explosive belt, walked into one of the militia, or popular committee, main offices in Zinjibar and blew himself up, the sources said.
Military and government security chiefs in the south rely on the support of popular committees, which consist mainly of tribal militias, in their fight against militants.
The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other militant groups strengthened their grip in Abyan and other mainly southern parts of the country during an uprising that ousted veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.
The United States, wary of the threat to neighboring top oil producer Saudi Arabia and to nearby shipping lanes, has stepped up drone strikes on suspected militant positions in Yemen, with the backing of Saleh’s successor, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Louise Ireland)


British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran back in court on new charge

Updated 45 min 56 sec ago
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British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran back in court on new charge

LONDON: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran for two years, has appeared in court to face a new charge, her husband said on Monday.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was summoned to a court in Tehran on May 19, according to a statement from Richard Ratcliffe, who runs the Free Nazanin campaign group.
The charge is for “spreading propaganda against the regime,” which she denies, he said.
On Sunday, she was allowed to speak to the British ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire.
“This is the first time that she has been allowed any contact with the embassy in over two years,” he said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.
She is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition — a charge she has always denied.
The couple have a three-year-old daughter Gabriella who is being looked after by Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s parents in Tehran.
She has asked for temporary release from prison next month to celebrate her daughter’s fourth birthday.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Iran in December last year to press for Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release on humanitarian grounds.