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U.S. military assists in assault on al-Qaida

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni warplanes and troops backed by heavy artillery waged a four-front assault Tuesday against the strongholds of al-Qaida militants in the south, with U.S. military personnel for the first time helping direct the offensive from a nearby desert air base-turned-command center. Yemeni military officials said dozens of members of the U.S. military were operating from al-Annad air base, about 45 miles from the main battle zones, coordinating assaults and airstrikes and providing information to Yemeni forces.

It was the most direct American involvement yet in the country's expanding campaign against al-Qaida's branch in Yemen, which has been blamed for directing a string of unsuccessful bomb plots on U.S. soil from its hideouts in the impoverished country at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Most recently, the CIA thwarted a plot to down a U.S.-bound airliner using a new, sophisticated explosive to be hidden in the bomber's underwear. But the man was actually a double agent who turned the device over to the U.S. government.



Man outside court hurt in self-immolation try

OSLO, Norway (AP) -- An unidentified man was seriously injured in a self-immolation attempt Tuesday outside the courthouse where right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik is being tried on terrorism charges for a bombing and shooting massacre that killed 77 people July 22. Police said the man didn't appear to have any connections to the trial.

Before the incident, the man stopped by the office of lawyer Bente Roli, where he dropped off an envelope with "confused" notes, police said.

The man was taken to Oslo University Hospital, where he was to undergo surgery early today, police said.