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The Obama administration plans to couple expanded military support for Yemen to fight al Qaeda with an economic assistance program aimed at curbing the appeal of Islamists, officials said.

In addition to military cooperation that includes U.S. training and other assistance for Yemen’s counterterrorism forces, the Pentagon is working with the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development on a development and reconstruction package targeting young men and those who live in tribal and rural areas.

Washington hopes long-term economic development will eventually help erode al Qaeda’s appeal among the 50 percent of the Yemeni population that is under the age of 15. Reuters

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