Al-Qaida claims responsibility for attacks in Yemen PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 December 2013 14:07

Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attacks on Yemen’s defense ministry, which has left 52 people killed, including seven Filipinos  and more than 167 injured.

Al-Qaida claimed the deadliest attack in Yemen in 18 months on its Twitter account, saying it targeted the defense ministry complex because it “proved that it accommodates drone control rooms and American experts.”

It said any security institutions that facilitate the United States against al-Qaida are “legitimate targets.”

Yemen’s supreme security committee released a statement on Thursday night confirmed the number of casualty.

Among the dead are soldiers and civilians, including two aid workers from Germany, two doctors from Vietnam, two nurses from the Philippines and a nurse from India, it said.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi held a meeting with the chief of staff inside the defense ministry compound after the attack, and he ordered an immediate investigation into the incident and demanded results within 24 hours.

It was the worst single attack since May, 2012 when a suicide bomber killed over 100 soldiers during a military rehearsal in Sanaa, for which al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility, saying it was targeting defense minister, major general Muhammad Nasir Ahmad.

Yemen has undergone a transitional political period after a year of mass protests that eased former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2012. Violence has since escalated in the impoverished Arab country as the government blamed most of attacks on the al-Qaida group, the most dangerous regional branch in the Middle East.

The AQAP, taking advantage of Yemen’s unrest in 2011, seized several southern towns before they were driven out in June 2012 by the Yemeni army.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s administration has intensified efforts to crack down on the militants, with support of drone strikes as part of a U.S.-backed anti-terrorism campaign.