Last updated: 10 December, 2013

Yemeni forces defuse bomb-laden cars and searching for others

Yemeni security forces have defused two booby-trapped vehicles and are searching for five others in Sanaa following a deadly attack on the defence ministry last week, police said on Tuesday.

Acting on a tip-off, the security forces launched a major operation to locate and rid the capital of the bombs, and had managed to find two of them on Monday, a police official told AFP.

“Special forces’ units are searching for five others,” said the official. This was confirmed by other security officials.

The police official added that “Al-Qaeda suspects have been arrested in raids”.

Authorities have beefed up security around government buildings as well as embassies and foreign interests, especially in Sanaa, officials said.

The measures come after Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for a brazen daylight assault on the Yemeni defence ministry that killed 56 people on Thursday.

A preliminary inquiry into Thursday’s attack has shown that most of the attackers were Saudis.

AQAP took advantage of a decline in central government control during Yemen’s 2011 uprising to seize large swathes of territory across the south.

The militants were driven back in June 2012 and the group has since been further weakened by US drone strikes.