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Suicide bomber kills Yemen anti-Qaeda general

SANAA: A suicide bomber on Monday killed the army general spearheading a blistering offensive against Al-Qaeda in south Yemen, throwing himself on the officer’s vehicle as he blew himself up, officials said. The attack on General Salem Ali Qoton came as Al-Qaeda fled its last bastion in Yemen’s restive southern and eastern provinces in the face of the military’s month-long withering assault aimed at destroying the jihadist network. Qoton, chief military commander in south Yemen, was attacked while on his way to his office in the port city of Aden, witnesses said. According to a report on Yemen’s defence ministry website, a military official said the bomber, a “Somali national … threw himself on (Qoton’s)’ vehicle and then detonated his explosives,” as the general drove through Aden’s Mansura neighbourhood. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the explosion “killed the general and two of his aides.” A medic, who is related to Qoton, gave an alternative account of the incident, saying the attacker brazenly shook hands with the general before blowing him up. The medic, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attacker “handed Qoton a paper, shook his hand and then detonated himself,” when the general was walking to his office.