Thu., December 5, 2013 10:30am (EST)

Militants Launch Deadly Attack On Yemen's Defense Ministry
By Bill Chappell
Updated: 7 months ago

Smoke rises from the site of a suicide car bombing at the defense ministry in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, Thursday. A car bomb exploded at the compound, sparking a gun battle.
Smoke rises from the site of a suicide car bombing at the defense ministry in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, Thursday. A car bomb exploded at the compound, sparking a gun battle.
Attackers used guns and bombs to assault Yemen's Defense Ministry compound Thursday, in a bold daytime attack that was reportedly carried out by gunmen dressed in Yemeni military uniforms. At least 20 people reportedly were killed during the attack in the capital city of Sanaa.

"The attack took place shortly after working hours started at the ministry, when a suicide bomber drove a car into the gate," a Defense Ministry source tells Reuters.

The Los Angeles Times reports, "Windows were shattered for blocks around in the district, which is also home to the country's central bank."

That's when the other attackers opened fire, beginning a gun battle that seems to have continued even as ambulances arrived on the scene. The violence also spilled into a hospital in the compound.

From the BBC:

"Officials said a second car followed whose occupants opened fire at the complex, and a battle ensued involving gunmen in military uniforms.

"The gunmen occupied a hospital at the complex, they added, but security forces later regained control of the building, which was badly damaged."

The death toll in the attack is being reported by various media outlets as between 20 and 29 people, and includes the attackers, civilians and people in the defense compound. Dozens of people reportedly were wounded.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but several analysts have noted that it resembles operations by al-Qaida.


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