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Thu 11 Dec 2008 06:37 AM

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Yemen named as potential safe haven for terrorists

US chairman of the joint chiefs says he is 'worried' about Yemen and Somalia.

The US chairman of the joint chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen said late on Wednesday he was "extremely worried" about the potential for safe haven for terrorists in Yemen and Somalia.

"A significant objective in Afghanistan and Pakistan is to not have a safe haven, and I am concerned about the potential for a safe haven in Somalia as I am in Yemen," Mullen said. "I am extremely concerned about that."

Asked if Ethiopia pulling its troops out of Somalia soon presented a greater risk, and what the United States would do, Mullen said that was not his call.

"It wouldn't be the US military, quite frankly (deciding). It would be, what would be the policy be of the United States of America and other countries? And there are lots of options there," Mullen stressed.

"What I certainly want to do, though, is express actually the same concern ... and I have that, pay a lot of attention to it, and I think we need to be mindful of where it could go in future," Mullen added.

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