British embassy official injured in Yemen attack: ministry

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A British embassy staff member and two bystanders were injured in an attack on a diplomatic car in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, the Foreign Office here said.

Police in Sanaa said a rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle about three kilometres (two miles) from the British embassy, the second attack on a British diplomatic vehicle in the city in six months.

"A British embassy vehicle was attacked at approximately 0815 local time (0515 GMT)," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

"The vehicle was on its way to the British embassy, with five embassy staff on board. One member of staff suffered minor injuries and is undergoing treatment, all others were unhurt," it added.

"We are informing their families at the moment. We are aware of at least two bystanders injured during the attack, and are seeking further detail."

A diplomatic source said the vehicle was carrying Fiona Gibb, the deputy head of mission at the British embassy, but that she was unhurt.

The Foreign Office would not confirm the identities of those in the car.

Foreign Secretary William Hague called the attack "shameful".

"This morning's attack on staff of the British embassy in Sanaa highlights the risks our diplomats face working for Britain's interests abroad," he said in a statement.

"I am relieved to hear that only one minor injury was caused," he added.

"This shameful attack on British diplomats will only redouble Britain's determination to work with the government of Yemen to help address the challenges that country faces."

In April, a suicide bomber hurled himself at the British ambassador's two-car convoy in a Sanaa street as it neared the British embassy compound, wounding three bystanders.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network's local branch, later claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw the embassy closed for two weeks.

© 2010 AFP

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