Gunfights erupted when armed men stormed a complex after setting off a suicide car bomb. Twenty people and possibly more were killed following a car bomb and the gunfight that followed at the defense ministry in Yemen in the capital Sana’a. The attack was one of the most serious in over 18 months.
Officials said the attack had targeted the hospital at the ministry and the majority of gunmen were wounded or killed.
The ministry released a statement that said the attackers had exploited some construction that was taking place to carry out their deadly attack, but the situation was now under control.
No one has yet to claim responsibility for the deadly attack, but the country who calls the U.S. an ally had been fighting with a threat to its security with militants linked to al-Qaeda who have attacked officials from the government and installations repeatedly the last two years.
Witnesses said an explosion shook the entire compound in Sana’a’s old district, where the central bank for the country is located.
Sirens from ambulances and gunshots could be heard following the blast as military soldiers exchanged gunfire with the armed militants, who were said to be disguised as army personnel with the Yemen army.
A source in the military said 20 people and possibly more, including the militants had been killed during the attack. Dozens were also wounded said the source.
The health ministry in Yemen appealed to its citizens to make blood donations to help those wounded.
Two separate sources in the defense ministry had said the attackers arrived in two vehicles. One had the suicide bomber and drove at the gate to the compound, while the second entered the compound following the blast with armed men. No reference was made in the ministry’s statement to a suicide bomber.
Violence has become more and more common in Yemen, as an interim government grapples with secessionists in the south, militants linked to al-Qaeda and Houthi rebels to the north along with severe problems with the economy that were inherited from Ali Adhallah Saleh the former President who in 2011 was forced from office.