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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, October 15, 2018


Explosion and mortar fired near diplomatic enclave in Yemen

A diplomatic enclave in Yemen's capital Sanaa was rocked by two explosions

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SANAA, Yemen - A diplomatic enclave in Yemen's capital Sanaa was rocked by two explosions and a mortar shell that was reportedly fired in the direction of the French embassy in the city, police said Monday.

Police officers pleading anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media said the attacks happened after midnight.

"There were no fatalities but four people were mildly injured," a police source was quoted as saying by the news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP).

He said mortar shell was fired in the direction of the French embassy in Yemen while a car bomb exploded metres away in Sanaa's diplomatic quarter.

The shell fell by a concrete block, installed for security reasons on a road leading to the embassy, he said.

"The shell landed about thirty metres (yards) from the wall of the French embassy," while the car "was parked halfway between the embassy and the residence of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital's diplomatic district of Hadda," said the source.

Reuters citing witnesses said the blast near the former president's home appears to have been caused by an implanted explosive device in the area which was immediately cordoned off by security forces who blocked all access to the area

An ambulance was seen transporting four injured on site, eyewitnesses told Reuters.

There was no immediate word on the total number of casualties or the cause of the blasts.

Such violent acts have increased in Yemen where Shia Houthi rebels have been pushing out from the mountains of the far north to areas closer to Sanaa to expand their hoped-for autonomous unit in a promised federal Yemen.

One of the poorest countries in the Arab world, Yemen is undergoing a difficult transition since nationwide Arab Spring protests that forced Saleh to step down in February 2012 after 33 years in power.

Meanwhile, Associated Press citing security officials in Yemen said that armed men have abducted a British national working with an oil services company on a main street in the capital of Sanaa.

The unnamed officials said the British man left a local supermarket Monday morning and was about to get into his car when four gunmen grabbed him, beat him with their rifle butts and forced him into their car before speeding off.

Abductions are frequent in Yemen and the latest comes days after a German citizen, who was in Yemen studying Arabic, was kidnapped in Sanaa.

Al Qaeda militants have also seized foreigners in the poor country > BNN 

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