[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list