Fawaz al-Haidari, AFP
Last updated: 6 April, 2012

Suicide blast near Yemen intelligence

A suicide bomber blew up a motorbike near intelligence offices in eastern Yemen on Friday, without causing casualties, hours after an aborted attack in the south claimed by an Al-Qaeda linked group.

Witnesses said the motorbike exploded some 50 metres (yards) from the offices of the intelligence services in Baida, some 180 kilometres (115 miles) east of Sanaa.

Earlier, two suspected Al-Qaeda bombers died when their payload exploded short of their intended target, the defence ministry said.

The ministry said on its news website 26sep.net that the bomb detonated before the bombers could reach the branch of the government intelligence agency in the main southern city of Aden.

Witnesses said one of the two men was a civilian, and a security official told AFP that the bomb went off outside the entrance gate to the building.

“Two suicide bombers belonging to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network were killed when their motorbike exploded… early Friday in Mansura” neighbourhood, 26sep.net reported.

“The bomb-laden motorbike exploded with the two suicide bombers whose bodies were left in pieces before they managed to carry out their suicide attack that targeted a branch of the political security services in Mansura,” it said.

No other casualties were reported.

Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, the self-proclaimed Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), said in a statement sent to the press that its militants carried out the attack but the bomb had gone off early due to a faulty timing mechanism.

The group has exploited a decline in central government control that accompanied Arab Spring-inspired protests that eventually forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power.

But suicide attacks targetting security forces have intensified since his successor, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, took office in February and vowed to continue the US-backed fight against Al-Qaeda.

Security forces have also been locked in battles with the Partisans of Sharia in Abyan’s provincial capital, Zinjibar, since the extremists took over the city in May 2011.

In a statement issued late Thursday, Yemen’s defence ministry said “more than 100 terrorists have been killed in Abyan over the past two days” in attacks by security forces on their strongholds.

The figures could not be verified from independent sources.