Yemenis Flee as Military Lays Seige to al-Qaeda
Obama counter-terror adviser visits Yemen
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2010 3:53 AM CDT
Yemeni policemen guard the state security court in the capital San'a yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thousands of villagers have fled fighting in southern Yemen as the government steps up its campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemeni authorities say they have laid siege to a village where some 120 militants are holed up and the assault will continue until the militants have surrendered, the AP reports.

Fleeing residents accuse the Yemeni military of shelling indiscriminately and firing on vehicles full of civilians. The US has pledged $150 million to help the Yemenis fight al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and American officials are seeking Yemeni consent for the use of Predator drones to track down militant leaders. White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan visited the country yesterday with a message of support from President Obama.