British embassy staffer injured in Yemen attack: ministry

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Britain's foreign ministry said a staff member suffered minor injuries and two bystanders were wounded in an attack on a British embassy car in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday.

Witnesses in Sanaa said earlier that three people were wounded when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle about three kilometres (two miles) from the British embassy.

"A British embassy vehicle was attacked at approximately 0815 local time," 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 the deputy head of mission at the British embassy. The Foreign Office would not confirm the identities of those in the car.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the blast was "a reminder that we have some way to go" in efforts to improve security in Yemen, which faces a growing threat from Al-Qaeda.

"All our diplomats there are remaining at home or in the embassy," he told BBC radio. "It is a difficult and dangerous place to work."

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 (AQAP), the group's local branch, later claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw the embassy closed for two weeks.

© 2010 AFP

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