News from Yemen: Scores Killed in Yemen Mosque Blast
- Scores Killed in Yemen Mosque Blast
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
Fri. May. 2, 2008
SANAA At least 15 people were killed and scores
injured when a bomb exploded outside a mosque in
Yemen's volatile northern city of Saada on Friday, May
"A booby-trapped motorcycle exploded at the entrance
of the mosque as the worshippers left after the Friday
prayers," Saada governor Motahhar Rashad told the
pan-Arab Al-Jazeera television.
The governor gave an initial count of six dead and 35
But a Yemeni security source put the death toll higher
at "around 15" and between 60 and 70 people injured.
The injured were almost all soldiers.
Witnesses said the blast targeted the mosque's imam,
who is also an army officer.
The imam was not in the mosque when the blast ripped
through though other Yemeni officers were.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.
The northwestern province of Saada has been rocked by
sporadic violence since a conflict broke out in 2004
between government forces and Shiite rebels, leaving
hundreds of people dead and forced thousands to flee
Seven Yemeni troops were killed late on Tuesday in an
ambush by the rebels.
Yemen officials say the rebels have been fighting to
restore the Zaidi imamate, which was overthrown in a
1962 republican coup in Yemen.
The rebels, known as Houthis, say they are defending
their villages against what they call government
One of the poorest countries outside of Africa, Yemen
has been struggling with several conflicts in addition
to its significant economic challenges.
The Shiite rebels denied responsibility for the mosque
"We categorically deny any link to the blast," rebel
leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi told Al-Jazeera.
The rebel leader said the attack aims to nip in the
bud efforts to achieve peace deal in Saada.
"We condemn this attack and offer condolences to the
families of the victims," he said.
Brokered by Qatar, the Yemeni government and Shiite
rebels signed a peace deal in June 2007.
The agreement, under which the rebels would lay down
their arms, was revived during a meeting between the
two sides in Doha in February.
Qatari mediators were still in the capital Sanaa on
Friday, but Yemeni authorities rushed military
reinforcements to Saada in the past few days amid
mounting tensions with the rebels.
Yemen, an Arabian peninsula country with a tribal
structure, has been repeatedly hit by violence in
Two attacks in Sanaa in March and April targeted US
interests and were claimed by the local wing of the
On Wednesday, two car bombs exploded inside the
compound of customs headquarters in Sanaa, but there
were no casualties.
Violence in Yemen after mosque blast
Sat May 3, 2008
(CNN) -- The government of Yemen dispatched troops and
artillery to the city of Saada on Saturday after
violence involving Shiite militants left 18 people
dead and 48 others injured over a 24-hour period,
Officials said they expect violence to escalate
following Friday's bombing outside a mosque that
targeted a local imam.
The attack occurred in Saada, nearly 150 miles (240
kilometers) north of the country's capital, Sanaa.
Yemeni government officials said a motorcycle was used
to carry out an attack at the entrance of a mosque.
One official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he
was not authorized to comment to media, said that many
of the dead and injured were leaving Friday prayers at
the Bin Salman mosque, The Associated Press reported,
when the bomb exploded in a stationary car.
"I saw crowds of people and two charred vehicles -- I
think one of them was the car bomb," Mohammed Abdel
Bari, a worshipper, told AP. "I saw scores of people
laying on the ground."
The region has been riven with violence since a Shiite
Muslim rebellion in June 2004, with thousands killed
in the ensuing conflict. The insurgents, now led by
Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, are critical of the authorities
and their alliance with the West and the U.S. in
The attack came 24 hours after the military blamed
insurgents for killing seven soldiers, AP, added,
sparking extra troop deployments in the region even
before Friday's explosion.
In addition to the rebellion, security forces have
also had to contend with attacks by al Qaeda -- the
nation is the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden -- on
Last month the U.S. embassy ordered all non-emergency
staff to leave the country, one day after a rocket
attack on a compound that houses Western and other
international oil workers. It also followed attacks
that have targeted the embassy over the last two years
And earlier this week a U.S. State Department report
called Yemen's counterterrorism efforts in 2007 as
"mixed" with "significant setbacks," including
releasing all returned Guantanamo detainees and
instituting a surrender program for terrorists with
It also criticized Yemen's weak counterterrorism laws
and an "ineffective" justice system.
Qaeda claims attack on Italian embassy in Yemen
Sat May 3, 2008 11:33am EDT
DUBAI, May 3 (Reuters) - An al Qaeda-linked group
claimed responsibility on Saturday for a failed mortar
attack on the Italian embassy in the Yemeni capital
Sanaa three days ago.
"Al Qaeda Organisation in the Arabian Peninsula -
Yemen Soldiers Brigades - claims responsibility for
the blessed operation ... on the morning of Wednesday
April 30, 2008, (that attacked) the Italian embassy
building in Sanaa with two mortar shells," the group
said in a statement posted on an al Qaeda-affiliated
It said the attack was aimed at expelling infidels
from the Arabian Peninsula, home to Islam's holiest
Two shells hit the parking lot of a customs building
adjacent to the Italian embassy on Wednesday, but
there were no casualties.
Last month, an al Qaeda-linked group said it fired
three mortar shells at a complex housing Americans and
other Westerners in Sanaa, in which no one was hurt.
In March, a school near the U.S. embassy was hit by
mortars, injuring 13 girls and five Yemenis soldiers
in an attack Washington said was aimed at its mission.
Yemen has seen a surge in small attacks on government
buildings and foreign embassies in recent weeks.
The country, which joined the U.S.-led war on terror
after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, is
seen in the West as a haven for Islamist militants
accused of involvement in attacks on Western targets
and clashes with authorities.
Yemen has also witnessed attacks on oil installations
and U.S. and French ships in recent years. (Reporting
by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Dominic Evans)
Yemen explosion kills 15
Friday May 2 2008
At least 15 people have been killed and dozens injured
in an explosion in Yemen today, officials said.
A security official said at least 60 people had been
hurt, while Reuters reported that 100 were taken to
hospital after the blast, which happened in the city
It is believed explosives packed into a motorbike were
detonated as worshippers left a mosque after Friday
Saada lies in a region that has been hit by violence
in recent years. Thousands have been killed since a
Shia rebellion erupted in June 2004.
Although the rebels have since agreed a ceasefire, the
violence has continued and forced thousands to flee
Seven Yemeni troops were killed in an ambush by rebels
The Yemeni government, which is allied to the US,
claims Shia rebels want to return to a form of
clerical rule that was prevalent in the country until
However, the rebels say they are defending their
villages against what they describe as government
Yemen car bomber targets worshippers
Friday, 2 May 2008
Six people were killed and at least 35 wounded today
when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded outside a
mosque in Yemen's volatile northern city of Saada.
The blast happened as worshippers, including army
officers, were leaving the Salman Mosque after Friday
prayers, officials and security sources said.
"We estimate so far six dead and around 35 wounded,"
Motahhar Rashad told Al-Jazeera television. "It is a
Rescue workers were still helping people at the scene,
and medical sources told Reuters around 100 people had
been taken to two hospitals in the area.
It was not known who planted the bomb near the door of
the mosque, but the northwestern province has been
rocked by sporadic violence since a conflict broke out
in 2004 between government forces and rebels loyal to
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have
fled their homes in Saada since the conflict began.
Seven Yemeni troops were killed late on Tuesday in an
ambush by the rebels, who often clash with troops of
the U.S.-allied Yemeni government and tribes loyal to
Yemeni officials say the rebels, from the Zaydi sect
of Shi'ite Islam, want to return to a form of clerical
rule prevalent in the country until the 1960s. The
rebels say they are defending their villages against
what they call government aggression.
Sunni Muslims form a majority of Yemen's 19 million
population, while most of the rest, including Houthi
and his supporters, are Zaydis.
Houthi's supporters, who are not believed to be linked
to al Qaeda, oppose Yemen's alliance with the United