Yemen's leader warns of al-Qaida expansion in the country

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The president of Yemen is warning that the al-Qaida branch in the country is expanding and is using assassinations and abductions of foreigners as a way to challenge the central authority.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi spoke on Thursday at a National Dialogue session, which brings political, religious and other leaders together to decide on the country's political system before writing a constitution.

The National Dialogue is part of a transfer of power deal that led to the ouster of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh after a yearlong mass uprising.

Hadi's comments were made on the same day that suspected al-Qaida militants killed an intelligence officer in southern Lhaj province and a day after three Yemeni air force pilots were shot and killed near an air base in the south.