Yemeni forces pound al-Qaida base again

| Monday, April 21, 2014, 8:03 p.m.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni forces, reportedly backed by U.S. drone strikes, hit al-Qaida militants for a second day on Monday.

Yemeni officials said it was an assault on a major base of the terror group hidden in the remote southern mountains. The government said 55 militants were killed.

The sprawling base was a rare instance of a permanent infrastructure set up by al-Qaida's branch in the country, Yemeni security officials said.

Built during the past few months, it includes a training ground, storehouses for weapons and food, and vehicles used by the group to orchestrate attacks, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The assault appeared to be a significant escalation in the United States and Yemeni campaign against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group's powerful branch in the southern Arabian nation.

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