Yemen Steps up Security, US Investigators Return ahead of Cole Trial
Yemeni authorities have stepped up security in the port city of Aden ahead of the trial of suspects in the deadly bombing of the US destroyer Cole that is expected to open later this month.
Police have started to ban cars from parking anywhere near the court where the trial is likely to be held and drivers are being stopped and their vehicles searched at night, Aden residents said.
A police source said changes have also been made in Aden's police and criminal investigation departments following a series of blasts on January 1 and 2 that targeted a church, a hotel and offices of Yemen's SABA news agency.
The shadowy Islamic Army of Aden-Abyan was behind the blasts that caused damage but no casualties and the main suspect has been arrested, security officials said last week.
FBI investigators, meanwhile, returned to Aden on Saturday following the end of year holidays and are taking part in the questioning of suspects in the Cole attack, under an agreement between Sanaa and Washington, Western diplomats said.
One of the diplomats said 49 US investigators and their guards were back in Aden. They have hired six translators, apparently for the trial, which is expected to open in the second half of January.
Sixteen suspects are being questioned for the October 12 blast that killed 17 US sailors, according to Interior Minister Hussein Arab. No group has claimed responsibility but Islamic militants have been implicated in the initial probe -- ADEN, Yemen (AFP)
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