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Yemen receives 53 Somali refugees amid fears of Qaida infiltrators

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SANAA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni Interior Ministry said up to 53 Somali refugees and 11 Ethiopian illegal migrants arrived on Wednesday in southwestern Yemen.

The Somalis, including 15 women, and the Ethiopians arrived early Wednesday in the port town of Dhubab, Taiz province, some 350 km southwest of the capital Sanaa, the Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The Ministry said security authorities had sent them to Kharaz camp for Somali refugees in the southern province of Lahj.

Though Yemeni government has long welcomed Somali refugees fleeing their war-torn country and sailing to Yemen, the government is now particularly concerned that al-Qaida infiltrators could be among those new arrivals, local media said.

According to UNHCR statistics, the number of Somali refugees in Yemen has reached to some 78,000 by the end of 2009, while three years ago there were around 49,000.

Editor: yan