Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Suspected Al-Qa'ida militants attack two Western targets in Yemen

Suspected Al-Qa'ida militants have attacked two Western targets in Yemen, firing a rocket-propelled grenade at vehicle carrying five British diplomats and killing a Frenchmen working at the OMV oil and gas installation.

No single group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but experts say that Yemen is emerging as a crucial testing ground for the Obama administration's approach to countering the threat from the Al-Qa'ida.

The UK embassy convoy was said to have been carrying the British deputy chief in Yemen when it was hit. The UK Foreign Office issued a statement, saying "One member of staff suffered minor injuries and is undergoing treatment, all others were unhurt. We are informing their families at the moment. We are aware of at least two bystanders injured during the attack, and are seeking further details."

Speaking about the attacks UK Foreign Secretary William Hague described them as “shameful” further adding that, “British diplomats will only redouble Britain's determination to work with the government of Yemen to help address the challenges that country faces."

The other attack occurred inside the installation of an Austrian gas company OMV, near Yemen's capital Sana'a. The compound was surrounded by security forces and the gunman was eventually disarmed. The attacks come two days after Yemeni authorities tightened security around embassies in the capital following information of a planned strike by Al-Qa'ida.

Source: BBC News, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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