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Published: Sunday, 2/26/2012

Yemen swears in 1st new leader in over 30 years

Car bombings kill 25 hours later

BLADE NEWS SERVICES

SANAA, Yemen — Yemen's first new president in more than three decades was sworn in Saturday, taking over the government of a country with a broken economy, violent separatist movements, and an active branch of al-Qaeda.

Hours after Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi took the oath of office in parliament and promised to continue the war on al-Qaeda, militants used a double car bombing in the city of Mukalla to kill at least 25.

Mr. Hadi, Yemen's former vice president, replaces longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh after an election aimed at ending more than a year of political turmoil in Yemen.

Mr. Hadi was the only candidate in the election.

In his televised speech before parliament, Mr. Hadi vowed to keep up Yemen's fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants, who have seized control of towns and swaths of territory in the restive south.

President Obama said he congratulated Mr. Hadi by phone Saturday and told him the United States "will stand with the people of Yemen as they continue their efforts to forge a brighter future."

U.S. officials consider Yemen a key ally in the fight against al-Qaeda in the region.

Mr. Saleh, who had been in the United States for medical treatment for injuries from an attack on his presidential palace last June, arrived in Yemen early Saturday.



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