British envoy to Yemen escapes bombing: security official

26th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

The British ambassador to Yemen on Monday narrowly escaped a suicide bombing in Sanaa in which two bystanders were slightly injured, a security official said.

"The ambassador was not hurt" in the attack that targeted his convoy as it headed towards the embassy, said the security official who requested anonymity.

The official said that attack was a suicide bombing and "only the attacker was killed." Earlier reports said an unidentified person was also killed.

Two bystanders were lightly wounded, medical officials said.

Witnesses said that the bomber was a bit slow in targeting the diplomat's vehicle and his body was torn to pieces.

A police car escorting the convoy was partly damaged in the attack which took place about 600 metres (yards) from the embassy, an AFP correspondent who visited the site reported.

Timothy Achille Torlot is the current British ambassador to Yemen according to the embassy's website.

American and British missions were shut for some days in January following indications that the local branch of Al-Qaeda was targeting Western interests in the south Arabian Peninsula country.

The warning followed the botched Christmas bombing of a US airliner which was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) -- the local Al-Qaeda franchise.

Yemen's defence ministry said late December that an attack against the British embassy was foiled after dismantling an Al-Qaeda cell in Arhab, 35 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital.

The attack on the British embassy "was to be modelled on the operation that was carried out against the American embassy" in 2008, which killed 16 people, the defence ministry said then.

© 2010 AFP

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