Suspects in British envoy attack in Yemen to be tried Monday

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The trial of a German, a Syrian and two Yemenis allegedly linked to a failed suicide attack on Britain's ambassador in Yemen will begin next week, a judicial source said Tuesday.

"On Monday, four Al-Qaeda militants, among them a German and a Syrian, suspected of attempting to assassinate the British ambassador, will appear in court," a judicial source told AFP.

The four will be tried in a Sanaa court that specialises in terrorism cases.

On June 24, the defence ministry's news website reported that four suspects were being questioned by Yemeni authorities over the botched April attack.

The German suspect is the son of a German businessman married to a Yemeni and has been living in Yemen, the ministry's website had quoted judicial sources as saying.

British envoy Timothy Torlot narrowly escaped an April 26 attack by a suicide bomber who hurled himself at the ambassador's two-car convoy in a Sanaa street as it neared the British embassy compound.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had claimed responsibility for the attack according to the US monitoring group, SITE.

The four suspects were part of a group that plotted to attack vital facilities and interests, had quoted judicial sources as saying.

Yemeni authorities have claimed that most of the group's members have been arrested.

The attack, in which witnesses said that the assailant's body was torn to pieces and three bystanders were lightly wounded, prompted the British embassy in Sanaa to close down for two weeks.

Yemen is the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden and AQAP's home base.

As well as the resurgence of Al-Qaeda, Yemen is in the grip of an economic crisis, a growing secessionist movement in the south, and an off-again, on-again rebellion in the north.

© 2010 AFP

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