Suspected Al Qaeda militants disguised as security forces launched an explosive assault on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, Wednesday killing 10 Yemeni police and civilians, officials said.
var CNN_ArticleChanger = new CNN_imageChanger(‘cnnImgChngr’,’/2008/WORLD/meast/09/17/yemen.blast/imgChng/p1-0.init.exclude.html’,2,1); //CNN.imageChanger.load(‘cnnImgChngr’,’imgChng/p1-0.exclude.html’);
The attack involved two car bombs, a spokesman for Yemen’s embassy in Washington said. Six attackers, including a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest, were also killed in the attack, Mohammed al-Basha said.
There were at least four explosions — including at least one car bomb — and sniper fire, a senior State Department official said.
Yemeni officials said the first car contained people in police uniforms who exchanged fire with Yemeni security forces, the officials said.
The second car exploded after it passed an outermost gate to the Embassy but before it reached a second protective barrier, the officials said.
But al-Basha said there were two cars packed with explosives involved in the attack.
A U.S. official told CNN the attackers initially opened fire outside the embassy’s security gate, then there was the main explosion followed by a secondary explosion.
At some point, snipers positioned across the street from the embassy opened fire on Yemeni first responders as they arrived on the scene, the official said.
Those killed include six Yemeni policemen and four civilians, he said, noting that the number of wounded is unclear. No U.S. Embassy employees were killed, the official added.
Yemen believes al Qaeda is responsible for the attack, al-Basha said. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the the explosions “bear the hallmarks of an al Qaeda attack.”