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Gulf | Yemen

Mortar attacks targeted US embassy in Yemen not school says diplomat

The US embassy would remain closed at least until Saturday after being targeted by terrorist attacks on Tuesday, a diplomat said on Wednesday.

  • By Nasser Arrabyee Correspondent
  • Published: 15:21 March 19, 2008
  • Gulf News

Sana'a: The US embassy would remain closed at least until Saturday after being targeted by terrorist attacks on Tuesday, a diplomat said on Wednesday.

The diplomat confirmed that the attacks targeted the embassy, not the adjacent girls' school, where a number of children and security agents were killed and injured by mortars fired by unknown attackers.

The government-run media described the attackers as terrorists.

“I can confirm that the attacks on Tuesday targeted our embassy, not the school,'' Ryan Gliha, the press and public affairs officer at the embassy, told Gulf News.
The embassy may stay closed until next Saturday, the official added.

Immediately after Tuesday's attack, the embassy issued a short statement saying three mortars exploded in the vicinity of the embassy and that it will be closed for the remainder of the day. The statement did not mention the embassy was targeted.

The mortars hit a girls' school adjacent to the embassy, killing at least one of the five guards injured, and injuring about 15 girls, three of them seriously.

The president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, visited the victims at a military hospital and instructed the government to pursue the attackers and bring them to justice as soon as possible. Saleh also announced a reward for anyone who would give information leading to capture of the attackers.

After the visit, the state-run media described the incident as a terrorist act, although some security officials had earlier said that personal and criminal motives were behind the attack.

State-run television allocated about two hours for people to comment on the incident while showing the injured being treated in the hospital and the damaged school.
A series of condemnation statements from political parties and civil society organisations were also issued.

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