(AP) Car bomb hits Yemen’s Defense Ministry, killing 2
By AHMED AL-HAJ
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car Thursday at Yemen’s Defense Ministry, killing at least two people and wounding 20, security and hospital officials said.
They said the bombing was followed by a firefight between troops and a carload of gunmen who arrived minutes after the blast, apparently in a bid to take over the complex in downtown Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The gunmen wore Yemeni army uniforms, the officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida, whose chapter in Yemen is considered among the world’s most active.
The officials said many of the 20 wounded were in serious condition and that the death toll was likely to rise.
The Defense Ministry issued a brief statement confirming the attack. It said “most” of the gunmen had been killed, but did not say how many there were. It did not give any other details.
The officials said the blast badly damaged a hospital inside the complex, started a fire and blew out windows and the doors of homes and offices in the immediate vicinity. The blast and the subsequent gunfight destroyed an armored vehicle belonging to the army and reduced three civilian cars outside the complex to charred skeletons, witnesses said.
Military helicopters hovered over the site after the blast and state television aired calls for blood donations.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed was in Washington for talks Thursday.