SANAA — Yemeni authorities have captured the mastermind of a suspected Al-Qaeda attack on the intelligence headquarters in the southern city of Aden that killed 11 people, the defence ministry said on Sunday.
"The security services have ... (captured) the leader of the terrorist gang that attacked the intelligence headquarters costing the lives of intelligence agents, women and children," the ministry said on its 26sep.net website.
It identified the captured man as Goudol Mohammed Ali Naji, and said he was a member of Al-Qaeda.
Seven military personnel, three women and a child were killed in Saturday's attack in the port city of Aden, officials said.
Yemen's higher security committee, in an official statement, said preliminary investigations indicated the attack carried the hallmark of Al-Qaeda, the state news agency Saba reported.
The website said Naji had a long record of terrorist and criminal activities, and was involved in an attack late last year on the central bank in Aden in which 100 million riyals (460,000 dollars, 388,000 euros) was stolen.
Saturday's deadly attack was apparently intended to free prisoners, but authorities said none were in the building at the time.
Witnesses said the assailants were seen leaving the building in a bus, taking people who had been detained there with them, in what appeared to be a coordinated and well-planned operation.
There were no casualties among the attackers, the witnesses said.
Last week, the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula urged Yemen's eastern tribes to rise against the government and threatened retaliation for alleged air strikes in the area, the US monitoring group SITE said on Friday.