Sanaa: A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle at
an elite Republican Guard camp southwest of the Yemeni capital
on Saturday, days after Al-Qaeda claimed a similar attack that
killed 26 soldiers, military sources said.
There were "casualties" in the blast at the base in
Bayda, 170 kilometres (105 miles) from Sanaa, the sources
Witnesses said the bombing devastated the three-storey
The explosion was followed by an exchange of fire between
gunmen and Republican Guard troops, who are led by Ahmed
Saleh, son of veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, who
formally stepped down less than a week ago.
Bayda borders Abyan province, an Al-Qaeda stronghold in
On Wednesday, the jihadists Yemen franchise, Al-Qaeda in
the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), claimed responsibility for a
suicide attack on a presidential palace in Hadramawt province
in the southeast that killed 26 Republican Guards last week.
That attack came as President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the
first new president in Sanaa since 1978, took the oath of
office as Saleh's successor.
AQAP said that the bombing of the palace in the Hadramawt
provincial capital Mukalla 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," AQAP said.
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.
"It is a patriotic and religious duty to continue the
battle against Al-Qaeda," the new president said.
"If we don't restore security, the only outcome will be
Yemen is the ancestral homeland of slain jihadist leader
Osama bin Laden.
First Published: Saturday, March 03, 2012, 14:57