Suicide bomber attacks Shiite rebels in Yemen

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2014 12:47 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A suicide car bomber rammed into a field hospital run by Shiite rebels in Yemen on Sunday, killing one person and wounding others, a security official said.

The field hospital some 100 miles (175 kilometers) northeast of the capital was used by Shiite rebels, known as the Hawthis, to treat their wounded from battles in recent months against rival Sunni Islamists. The Hawthis swept through the capital earlier this month after consolidating their grip over northern provinces.

The official said one person killed and others were wounded in the bombing but was not able to provide exact figures. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The attack came as hundreds demonstrated in Sanaa, urging state security forces to return to the streets and demanding Hawthis' exit. "For a secure capital free of armed militias," read a banner raised by demonstrators in Sanaa, who also called for the return of weapons seized from security forces by the Hawthis.

Yemen's main political forces signed a security deal on Saturday in which the Hawthis agreed to disarm and withdraw from areas they recently seized. The Hawthis' main rivals — the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islah party — also signed the deal, part of a comprehensive agreement brokered by the United Nations.

The agreement would grant the Hawthis some executive power as it stipulates that the president name two advisers, one from the Hawthis and one from Yemen's southern separatist movement. It also calls for the formation of a new government within a month and the restoration of fuel subsidies, which the outgoing government ended in July, sparking the political confrontation now engulfing the country.

Meanwhile, Yemen's local al-Qaida branch claimed responsibility for firing a rocket Saturday near the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.

Militant websites posted a statement from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on Twitter claiming responsibility for firing the rocket. It said the attack was in response to a drone attack that wounded children in al-Jawf province on Friday. It said the rocket assault wounded several embassy guards and destroyed an armored vehicle.

Yemeni security officials said a man on a motorcycle fired the portable missile, causing no casualties. They said the rocket targeted a building some two blocks away from the U.S. Embassy.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday that there was no indication that the embassy was the target and that none of its staff were wounded.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen's local branch, is considered by Washington to be the most dangerous affiliate of the global terror network.


Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.