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20 Yemenis Killed in Sana'a in Suicide Bombing

July 11, 2012

Suicide bombing kills 20 in Yemen's capital, al-Qaida says responsible

SANAA, July 11, 2012 (Xinhua) --

A suicide bombing killed at least 20 police cadets in Yemen's capital of Sanaa on Wednesday, just five days after the terrorist group sent warning messages to intelligence services that an attack would strike police institutions in days.

The deadly bombing was the second in less than two months in Sanaa, after the deadliest-ever attack on a military parade rehearsal in al-Sabeen Square in May, which killed about 100 central security forces in a highly-guarded square adjacent to the presidential palace.

"It's an urgent message to chiefs of the Yemeni intelligence services, the political security agency and the national security that we will carry out another sophisticated operation against police forces in Sanaa in days," an al-Qaida spokesman identified himself as Abu Hajar al-Hadramy said in an audio tape carried by al-Qaida media Al-Malahim Foundation on July 6.

Wednesday's attack, which occurred in front of the police academy in downtown Sanaa while the cadets were leaving after classes finished, left at least 20 killed and dozens of others injured, according to security sources.

"It's al-Qaida ... it's our job now to clean Sanaa from their threats and reaching the house of the suicide bomber," an officer told Xinhua anonymously, adding that "a foreign interest could be targeted next time according to intelligence information."

Outside the southern gate of the police academy, which is about one kilometer north of the presidential palace and al-Sabeen Square, hundreds of people gathered there after hearing a powerful explosion.

Blood was splattered everywhere as the scene was cordoned off by police investigators, after ambulances transported the dead and injured cadets to nearby hospitals. Police sources said U.S. counter-terrorism experts took part in the investigations.

"President (Abd-Rabbu Mansour) Hadi's intelligence agencies need to take more precautionary measures to prevent further terrorist attacks," said Ahmed Tahir, a local resident.

Another passerby said "it's a very sad moment ... the terrorist attack today remind us of May 21 deadly attack in al-Sabeen Square. "

Police sources said that those cadets were killed when a suicide bomber jumped to them while they were leaving the academy for the weekend and about 20 others were wounded, five of them were in critical condition.

The Yemeni sharing-power government and opposition parties condemned the attack, requesting the interior ministry and security authorities to quickly capture terrorist perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The country's high security commission vowed to pursue al-Qaida cells in Sanaa and other provinces and "strike them with an iron hand," in a statement carried by the defense ministry's website.

Shortly after the bombing attack, the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility in a text message obtained by Xinhua and vowed to launch further attacks.

Despite the U.S.-backed military offensive that attempting to drive the terrorists out of their strongholds in the country's southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, Wednesday's suicide attack showed that the AQAP still poses severe threats after it retreated from cities in the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa.

In the warning message received by the security authorities in Sanaa last week, the AQAP also vowed to launch more attacks in Sanaa and threatened to retake Abyan and its neighboring regions. The Yemeni army announced in early June that they recaptured major cities in Abyan and declared that the military operation ended in victory.

Hopes for peaceful transition erode amid deadly bombings in Yemen

by Fuad Rajeh

SANAA, July 11, 2012 (Xinhua) --

At least 20 cadets were killed and twenty others injured in a suicide bombing at the police academy in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Wednesday despite tight security around key local and foreign installations preventing terrorist attacks.

The deadly bombing was the second in the past two months in Sanaa, after the deadliest-ever attack on a military parade rehearsal in May, which killed about 100 central security forces in the capital, casting shadows over Yemen's peaceful transition process after more than 18 months of unrest.

Marwan al-Sube, one of the cadets slightly injured, said the explosion occurred at the southern gate of the academy while he and his colleagues were coming out.

"No one expected it. Just when we were leaving for the weekend' s vacation, we heard the bombing killing and injuring some of us," he said.

"After we started to compose ourselves, we saw a young man, aged from 18 to 20, badly hurt with some of his body parts cut off, " he said.

"He was the suicide bomber and had been waiting at the academy' s gate," he added.

"It is really sad to see young people kill themselves in this way and the saddest thing is when police or soldiers became an easy target, and where: in the capital," the cadet added.

The attack on Wednesday exposed persistent weaknesses of the authorities in a country with big challenges including the army division, security disorders and economic woes, which were deepened by the 2011 turmoil.

Observers argued the army division is providing militant groups with the opportunity to infiltrate into key places to carry out deadly attacks.

Yemen hosts the most dangerous branch of al-Qaida, the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which, according to observers, receives support from tribal illiterate communities and is continuing to exploit the unrest.

With direct support from the United States and tribal fighters in the past few months, the Yemeni army drove al-Qaida militants from key towns and killed hundreds including senior leaders in the south.

In the meantime, an extensive hunt for militants is continuing across the republic, and the authorities have arrested many cells including those responsible for suicide attacks and key fugitives.

Security officials said that after the severe blows in the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, al-Qaida has shifted to suicide bombings, its usual way, to retaliate and exploit disorders in the country.

They said Wednesday's attack bore the hallmarks of the AQAP, which has no goal, but to kill innocents and harm the country's interests.

A senior official at the interior ministry said the attack sent a message about the successful plans of the AQAP, which reaches key places and key soldiers in downtown the capital despite strict security measures.

"It is not impossible to free Yemen from militancy, but it is very essential to put an end to all conflicts and turmoil helping this pandemic grow to dangerous levels," the official said.

One hour after the suicide attack on the police academy, the al- Qaida, which vowed to move the guerilla warfare into the capital Sanaa, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Editor: yan

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