[QODLink]
Middle East

Scores killed in Yemeni ministry attack

Doctors and nurses among 52 killed in suicide bombing and gun attack on the defence ministry complex in capital Sanaa.

Last updated: 05 Dec 2013 19:35
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The Yemeni Defence Ministry said the attack on its compound had targeted a hospital [EPA]

At least 52 people, including doctors and nurses, have been killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a hospital inside Yemen's defence ministry complex in the heart of the capital Sanaa, according to Yemen Higher Security Committee.

Thursday's assault, which was followed by a gun battle, also left 167 people injured, the defence ministry said.

A statement by the security committee said two of those killed were Germans. 

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the victims worked for Germany's state-linked GIZ aid organisation.

The ministry said that the attackers had damaged the hospital but that the situation was now under control. 

The suicide explosion was caused by a bomber who drove a car packed with explosives into the gate, media reports quoted the defence ministry as saying. The blast was followed by another car of gunmen opening fire at the ministry.

Plumes of smoke billowed across the complex, situated on the edge of the Baba al-Yaman neighbourhood.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Fighters emboldened

Yemen has been plagued with a series of violent attacks, as the interim government grapples with southern secessionists, al-Qaeda-linked groups and northern Houthi rebels, as well as severe economic problems inherited from veteran President Ali Abdallah Saleh who was forced out of office following protests against his rule in 2011.

Fighters were emboldened by a decline in government control over the country and seized several southern cities before being driven out in 2012 in an offensive supported by United States and drones.

Al-Qaeda-linked fighters have killed hundreds of Yemeni soldiers and members of the security forces in a series of attacks since then.

In July last year, a suicide bomber wearing a Yemeni army uniform killed more than 90 people rehearsing for a military parade in Sanaa. Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Yemen's defence minister, Major General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad, escaped a car bomb on his motorcade in September 2012 that killed at least 12 other people.

321

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list