Qaeda claims attack on Yemen presidential palace

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a suicide attack on a presidential palace in southeast Yemen.

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2012, 00:51 AM IST

Dubai: Al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Wednesday
for a suicide attack on a presidential palace in southeast
Yemen that had killed 26 Republican Guards over the weekend,
in a statement released on jihadist forums.

"The hero martyr Abu Muhjen al-Sayari attacked with his
bomb-laden car Republican Guard troops inside the presidential
palace in Mukalla, Hadramawt`s capital, killing nearly 30
officers and soldiers and wounding more than 50," said the
statement.

The attack was timed with "the last chapters of this farce
of power transition in Yemen, by which the United States aims
to steal the fruits of the revolt," said the statement.

On Saturday a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle outside a
presidential palace in the Hadramawt provincial capital
Mukalla, overshadowing the swearing in ceremony of the first
new president in Sanaa since 1978.

The attack came as Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took the oath in
the capital Sanaa to succeed strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The statement signed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
(AQAP), Al-Qaeda`s branch in Yemen, said the operation was "a
clear message to the US ambassador" after alleged remarks he
made "about restructuring the Yemeni army."

"This is a message to say that the US project in Yemen
will not succeed and that our operations will target this
project and its tools wherever they may be," said the
statement.

A Yemeni military official has said that Saturday`s attack
bore the hallmark of Al-Qaeda and that the bomber "could be
Mohammed al-Sayari," a Saudi originally from Hadramawt.
The same source said that no high-ranking officials were
in the palace when the bomber struck.

The palace is guarded by troops of the elite Republican
Guard, who are under the command of former president Ali
Abdullah Saleh`s son Ahmed.

In an address to the nation straight after being sworn in
to succeed Saleh, Hadi vowed to press the fight against
Al Qaeda and restore security across his impoverished nation.

PTI