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UK, US funding Yemen anti-terror squad

[ 2010-01-04 13:17]     字号 [] [] []  
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The British government said yesterday that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama had agreed to fund a counterterrorism police unit in Yemen to tackle the rising terrorist threat from the country.

Later, the BBC reported that both the US and British embassies have closed in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a in response to new threats from Al-Qaida.

Yemen has deployed several hundred extra troops to two mountainous eastern provinces that are al-Qaida's main strongholds in the country and where the suspected would-be Christmas airplane bomber may have visited, security officials said yesterday.

Brown's Downing Street office said the UK and the White House agreed to "intensify joint US-UK work to tackle the emerging terrorist threat from both Yemen and Somalia" in the wake of the failed Detroit terror plot.

"Amongst the initiatives the PM has agreed with President Obama is US-UK funding for a special counter-terrorism police unit in Yemen," the statement said.

US Gen David Petraeus, who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said on Saturday that Washington will more than double the $67 million in counterterrorism aid that it provided Yemen in 2009.

A UK government spokeswoman later said the initiatives in Yemen are part of ongoing work between the UK and the US and that the cost of the counterterrorism police unit will be met by existing funding commitments to Yemen.

The spokeswoman said Britain is forecast to give more than 100 million pounds ($161 million) to Yemen in 2011. But she said Britain is already helping to train Yemeni counter-terrorism officials.

The spokeswoman did not say how long Britain had been working on initiatives in Yemen. Downing Street also said in its statement that Brown and Obama believe that in Somalia "a larger peacekeeping force is required and will support this at the UN Security Council."

The British government unveiled its plans in the wake of the thwarted Christmas Day bombing of a passenger plane bound for Detroit. The Downing Street Office said the United Kingdom and the United States would support Yemen's coast guard operation. Pirates operating in the waters between Somalia and Yemen have seized four ships in the last week.

Brown called last week for a high-level international meeting later this month to devise ways to counter radicalization in Yemen.


1. What is the name of the US general who overseas the war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

2. How much is Britain forecast to give in funding?

3. Where was the plane bound for in the Christmas day bomb plot?


1. US Gen David Petraeus.

2. 100 million pounds.

3. Detroit.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

UK, US funding Yemen anti-terror squad

About the broadcaster:

UK, US funding Yemen anti-terror squad

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.