Last updated: 28 October, 2013

Brief gunfight near US embassy in Yemen

A gun battle broke out on Monday near the US embassy in Yemen’s capital, but the situation was rapidly brought under control, security sources and witnesses said.

The clash took place around a kilometre (0.6 miles) west of the US mission in Sanaa, a security official said, in an area with a strong presence of security forces.

However, another security official said the area borders on the Musaik neighbourhood in central Sanaa, where dormant cells of Al-Qaeda are believed to be based.

Security sources said the shooting had nothing to do with the US mission, and local residents said the situation was back to normal.

The US embassy and several Western missions closed in August after US warnings of an Al-Qaeda attack.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has intensified its attacks on security forces in Yemen, taking advantage of the weakening of the Sanaa central government since a popular uprising that toppled president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011.

Impoverished Yemen is also awash with personal weapons, while some of its tribes are heavily armed.