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12 Americans among dozens held in Yemen, State Department says

By the CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) -- Yemen has detained a dozen Americans among a larger group of foreign students reportedly being held for security reasons, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

Citing "privacy issues," P.J. Crowley would not provide details about the detentions nor would he confirm other media reports that the students may have had connections with the terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"We have great cooperation with the government of Yemen," Crowley said when pressed on the issue. "Together, we are doing our best to help Yemen, you know, reduce the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. That's a threat to Yemen. It's a threat to the United States."

Earlier media reports indicated the arrests of as many as 50 students suspected of having connections with the Yemeni-based terror organization were made last week. CNN has been unable to confirm those reports.