SANAA, Yemen — A Yemeni government spokesman claims authorities have foiled a plot by al-Qaida militants aimed at taking control of two cities in the country, then storming strategic ports and bombing gas facilities.

Rageh Badi said Wednesday that the terror network planned to target the southern cities of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, and Bawzeer, then send its members disguised in military uniform to attack two strategic oil ports.

He says other al-Qaida militants, meanwhile, would try to sabotage pipelines to “create panic among Yemeni army and Yemeni security services.”

The remarks come as the country is on heightened alert over fears of an al-Qaida threat that led the U.S. and Britain to evacuate their embassies in the capital, Sanaa.

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