Vehicles burn after an explosives-packed car hit Yemen’s Defence Ministry complex in Sana’a yesterday.
Doha: Qatar strongly condemned the explosion that targeted the Yemeni defence ministry in Sana’a and killed 52 people, including foreign medical staff, yesterday.
An official source at the Qatari Foreign Ministry told Qatar News Agency that this criminal act was contrary to all human values.
The source renewed Qatar’s firm stance denouncing violence in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its source.
In Riyadh, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al Zayani described the terrorist attack as a horrible crime that aimed at destabilising Yemen’s security and stability. He expressed confidence that the perpetrators of the crime will be brought to justice.
The GCC member countries are fully behind Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the government in their bid to maintain stability and security in Yemen, Al Zayani added.
A suicide bomber and gunmen wearing army uniforms attacked the ministry, in the worst single militant assault in Yemen in 18 months.
One attacker drove a car packed with explosives into the gate of the ministry’s compound, then gunmen in another vehicle sped in and opened fire on soldiers and doctors and nurses working at a hospital inside, witnesses said. The coordinated strikes wounded 167 people, said the government’s security committee. Two German and two Vietnamese doctors, and one Indian and two Filipino nurses were among the dead, it added.
No one immediately claimed responsibility, but a Yemeni expert on Islamist militant affairs said it bore the hallmarks of Al Qaeda.
Ministry staff were arriving for work when the bomber struck, sources inside the ministry said.
The massive blast shook the bustling Bab Al Yemen neighbourhood on the edge of capital Sana’a’s old city. Medics and a defence ministry official said the gunmen pulled a Western doctor and a Filipino nurse into the hospital’s courtyard and shot them in front of local staff. They also killed one of Hadi’s relatives who was visiting a patient, the ministry said on its website.
Security forces retook the compound after killing most of the attackers, the ministry added.
The UN and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also condemned the attack.
Yemeni analyst Abdelrazzaq Al Jamal, an expert in Islamist militant affairs, drew parallels with an attack claimed by Al Qaeda on a military base in eastern Yemen in September.
“The operation carries the fingerprints of Al Qaeda because of the suicide nature of the attack,” he added. Agencies