Thursday, an attack on the Defense Ministry headquarters in Sanaa, Yemen, killed 52 people and was linked to Al Qaeda. A suicide bomber blew an entrance door to the compound open with a car loaded with explosives, and the others then started shooting civilians, according to witnesses.
Among the people killed were soldiers, doctors, patients and a number of foreigners, and they wounded more than 160 others. Two doctors from Germany, two others from Vietnam, as well as two nurses from the Philippines and one nurse from India were among those killed, the official Saba news agency reported.
The Philippine foreign ministry said seven of its nationals had died. Other civilian victims included a top Yemeni judge and his wife, and one of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s relatives.
Some of the Qaeda-linked sites, i.e. social media, twitter and websites that are used by Al Qaeda, said the militants were seeking revenge for Yemen’s coordination with the United States on drone strikes that have killed members of Al Qaeda.
The attack happened in broad daylight, and to one of the government’s most important security facilities. Plummeting Yemen’s descent into chaos and instability since its longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was forced from power in 2011.
Yemen is home to some of the most threatening and organized Al Qaeda operatives who are determined to kill militants that have anything to do with the American drone campaign, and include kidnapping, ransom and other deadly attacks on military targets. The Qaeda affiliate in Yemen has also tried to plant bombs on planes bound for the United States.
The blast on Thursday was heard across Sana. Gunfire rang out after the car exploded, sending plumes of smoke into the air.
It was the deadliest attack in Sanaa since May 2012, when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a rehearsal for a military parade.
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