A Yemen attack on Thursday bore striking hallmarks of al-Qaida, as assailants staged a brazen daytime assault Thursday on Yemen’s Defense Ministry, reports The Associated Press Thursday via Yahoo! News.
Over 50 were killed, with 167 injured. Among those dead were at least seven foreigners.
The attack, which terrorized residents of the crowded district, started with a car-bomb explosion at the Ministry’s gate. Armed fighters then pushed their way into the compound, targeting, of all things, a hospital that housed foreign aid workers.
Officials said the attackers disguised themselves with official military outfits, confusing those who were defending the compound. They may have also been traveling in vehicles with stolen government plates.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but officials said the complex nature of the assault prompted them to suspect Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who have frequently been targeted by recent U.S. drone attacks.
Yemen’s Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed was currently stateside in Washington for talks when the attack occurred. The U.S. military increased its regional alert status and said they are “fully prepared to support our Yemeni partners,” a senior U.S. defense official said.
The Supreme Security Commission in Yemen, led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, said Thursday's attacks “will not deter the security forces, the armed forces and the honorable sons of the nation from carrying out their religious and patriotic duty in the face of terrorists wherever they may be.”