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In Yemen, a government convoy is attacked; 1 dead

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The attack took place in a war-torn province
  • The Shabwa governor escaped injury
  • Al Qaeda has a strong presence in the region

(CNN) -- A Yemeni soldier was killed and nine others were wounded in a restive province when the governor's convoy was attacked, government authorities said.

The incident occurred on Wednesday in Shabwa province, a stronghold of a potent al Qaeda wing.

Yemeni security forces haven't determined who is responsible, but won't rule out the involvement of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The provincial governor and his chief of staff were not hurt in the attack. This comes Yemen's military launched an offensive against al Qaeda in the town of Hawta.

Yemen's news agency, Saba, reported that the top security official in Shabwa said investigators found documents that describe plots designed by al Qaeda leaders in Hawta. The plots reportedly called for the targeting of senior military and security figures, foreigners and local and foreign interests in and around the province.

Most of the people who had been displaced from Hawta during the raid returned home, Ahmed al-Maqdashi is quoted as saying. Security forces fighting al Qaeda say the militants have fled to nearby mountains.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula grabbed the attention of the West with the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines trans-Atlantic flight as it was preparing to land in Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009.

The suspect in the incident, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, who has pleaded not guilty to six federal terrorism charges, was reportedly trained and armed in Yemen.

Since its inception in January 2009, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks against Saudi, Korean, Yemeni and U.S. targets.

Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, remains at large. He is a U.S. citizen and is believed to have prepared AbdulMutallab for the operation.

CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom contributed to this report