Al Qaeda blames renegade for Yemen attack

Last updated 19:12 22/12/2013
A car bomber and gunmen dressed in army uniforms attacked Yemen's Defense Ministry compound in the capital Sanaa, killing at least 20 people. Jillian Kitchener reports.

Relevant offers

Africa

Famine is over in South Sudan but the job has just begun Injured giant squid knocks paddle boarder in water during dramatic encounter in South Africa Man jailed for dangling baby from 15th floor of high-rise to get Facebook likes Catholic church report: 3300 dead since central Congo conflict began in August Thousands of wildebeests die in a river each year. That's actually a good thing, study finds Too hot to handle: Study shows Earth's killer heat waves worsening Gunmen attack Mali tourist resort, killing four, including two soldiers Somali survivors tell of restaurant siege by rebels; 17 dead At least 20 people being held hostage in Somalia's capital after suicide bomb attack The humanitarian catastrophe many of us know nothing about

Al Qaeda's wing in Yemen blamed a renegade fighter for targeting medics and patients in a military hospital during its attack on the Defence Ministry compound in Sanaa earlier this month, it said in a statement released on Saturday.

"We do not fight in this way, and this not what we call on people to do, and this is not our approach," it said in the statement, adding it had warned its fighters not to attack the hospital.

The killing of unarmed medics and patients, captured on closed-circuit television footage and broadcast by state media, caused widespread outrage in Yemen, where al Qaeda has portrayed itself as fighting for normal people against foreign drone strikes.

Al Qaeda's offshoot Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) claimed responsibility earlier this month for the December 5 assault in which at least 52 people were killed, the worst such attack in Yemen for 18 months.

It said it attacked the compound because it believed it to house an operations room for drone attacks carried out by the United States against Islamist militants, which have also led to civilian deaths.

Many of those killed died inside the compound's hospital, where staff said they had seen foreign doctors and nurses executed by attackers.

The footage released on state television showed uniformed figures wandering around the hospital's corridors and wards shooting medics and patients.

One attacker was shown walking up to a group of cowering patients and calmly tossing a hand grenade into their midst before ducking behind a wall.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content