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Yemen extradites 5 wanted militants to Saudi

world Updated: Mar 29, 2009 15:53 IST

AFP
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Yemen has handed over to Saudi Arabia five men whose names appeared on a list of 85 militants wanted by the kingdom for involvement in attacks, a security official said on Sunday.

The suspects, all Saudi nationals, were extradited on Saturday and are wanted by Riyadh in connection with "terrorist and sabotage" acts, the official told AFP.

They include Ali Abdullah al-Harbi, whose arrest the Yemen interior ministry announced in mid-March as part of a search operation for 116 suspects wanted in Yemen for security reasons, the official added.

A defence ministry-linked web site, www.26sep.net, said the militants were arrested in Yemen and extradited as part of a security agreement with Riyadh.

Last month former Guantanamo prisoner Mohamed Atiq Awayd al-Awfi turned himself in to Yemeni authorities and was flown to his native Riyadh, after his name appeared on the list of 85 men wanted by the Saudi government.

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

In January the local Al-Qaeda branch announced in a video message posted on the Internet the merging of the Saudi and Yemeni branches into "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," led by a Yemeni, Nasser al-Wahaishi.