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Failed airline bomber indicted in US

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Failed airline bomber indicted in US

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A US grand jury has indicted the man suspected of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Nigerian citizen Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab faces six charges including attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Police say Abdulmutallab admits attending terrorist training camps in Yemen. Senior Yemeni sources believe al-Qaeda may have recruited him in London before radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki took the 23-year old under his wing in Yemen. Al-Awlaki has disappeared from the radar since airstrikes on al-Qaeda targets on Christmas Eve.

Yemen’s deputy defence minister insists that combat operations against Islamist militants on Yemeni soil are being led by Yemeni troops and Yemeni troops alone. He added though that foreign countries are providing military intelligence and technical support.

Those operations are being carried out in three provinces in the centre of the country. There have been reports from local residents that US troops have been seen on the ground. Washington denies this.

The Yemeni government has said an American presence would serve only to strengthen al-Qaeda in the region rather than weaken it.