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Bombing strikes Yemen air force bus, killing 3

SANA, Yemen — A bomb probably hidden on a bus carrying high-ranking Yemeni air force personnel exploded Sunday in the capital, killing three people in a country fighting an Al Qaeda affiliate, officials said.

The explosion in Sana came as Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch posted a new video message saying killings in Muslim nations only act as a ‘‘stimulus’’ to draw more into fighting as militants.

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The bombing wounded 23 people riding in the minibus, including five in critical condition with amputated arms or legs, said Colonel Mahdi al-Aidarous, an air force spokesman. Among those wounded were 13 majors, lieutenant-colonels, and colonels, the Defense Ministry said.

The colonel said the bus was heading to air force headquarters when the blast went off. He said it probably originated from inside the vehicle. The official SABA news agency later quoted an air force statement as saying that the explosive was stuck under the bus.

Private television stations showed images of a damaged bus with blown-out windows and blood-stained doors. Security forces collected evidence.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemen’s government is battling militants linked to Al Qaeda who regularly target the country’s military.

Amid a global alert about terrorism earlier this month, the United States evacuated its diplomatic staff from Yemen’s capital.

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