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US OKs $150 million to help Yemen fight terrorism

WASHINGTON — The Associated Press has learned that the Pentagon has approved $150 million in military assistance to Yemen, the country where al-Qaida linked militants planned the failed Christmas Day airliner attack over Detroit.

Administration officials said the money was approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday and is more than double the amount the U.S. gave to Yemen last year. It will pay for military equipment and training for Yemeni forces.

The total is a sizable chunk of the $350 million that the Pentagon will dole out to allies this year, underscoring the significant terror threat officials believe is growing in Yemen.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the funding has not been publicly announced.