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An al Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack on Yemen's defense ministry that killed at least 52 people, the country's worst militant assault in 18 months. "As part of the policy of targeting the operation rooms of pilotless planes, the mujahideen (holy fighters) have heavily struck one of these rooms in the Ministry of Defence headquarters," Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) said in a Twitter message posted early on Friday. The group is an offshoot of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Thursday's attack, in which 167 people were wounded, was carried out by a suicide bomber and gunmen wearing army uniforms.