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Yemen Recaptures Two USS Cole Suspects

Yemeni security forces have recaptured the last of 10 militants who escaped from prison last year after being detained for the 2000 bombings of the USS Cole, an official said Friday.

The last two — Jamal Badawi (search), Yemen's most-wanted man, and Fahd al-Quso (search) — were arrested in the mountains of southern Abyan province Friday morning, provincial Gov. Farid Major told The Associated Press.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry said both men were wounded in a shootout with security forces before their capture and were being treated at a hospital.

A member of the security forces also was wounded, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

The arrests came after 20 days of close surveillance, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Yemeni news agency.

The USS Cole (search) was bombed in October 2000 as it refueled in the southern port city of Aden. Two suicide bombers piloted a small boat laden with explosives alongside the USS Cole and detonated it, blowing a hole in the destroyer's hull and killing 17 U.S. sailors.

The attack was blamed on the Al Qaeda terror network.

Badawi allegedly helped buy the dinghy.

The United States has indicted Badawi and al-Quso, who were among 10 terror suspects who escaped from an Aden prison in April 2003 by climbing through a hole in the bathroom wall. All 10 are now back in custody after eight were recaptured earlier this week.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has said al-Quso planned to videotape the USS Cole attack from a nearby apartment to encourage similar attacks elsewhere.

Ashcroft also said Badawi participated in an unsuccessful plot to bomb another Navy destroyer in January 2000. The attempt to destroy the USS The Sullivans failed when the terrorists' small boat sank under the weight of the explosives it was carrying, Ashcroft said.

The jailbreak embarrassed the Yemeni government, which supports the U.S.-led war on terror and allowed American forces to enter the country and train its military.

Yemen, which long has tolerated Muslim extremists, is the ancestral homeland of Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden.

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