By Nasser Arrabyee 06/10/2010
Four people including a British diplomat were injured after a British embassy car carrying staff escaped a terrorist attack nearby the embassy , said the embassy and witnesses on Wednesday.
The embassy confirmed that the ambassador was not in the car. Later in the day, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh received the outgoing ambassador, Tim Torlot, who finished his term in Yemen , in a good bye meeting.
Two gunmen, believed to be Al Qaeda members, fired a mortar , or RPG and lightly damaged the car which was on its way to the embassy in Sana’a. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
Eyewitness at the scene said two men wearing the clothes of the street cleaners with a bag in the hand of one of them were pretending to clean the street near Berlin Garden, close to the embassy . When the British car passed them they fired the mortar at the back of the car before they escaped leaving behind the machine that they used to fire the mortar. “The police took that machine when they came,” the witnesses said. Three bystanders were injured when the targeted car crashed them while driving quickly.
A woman and her little daughter and another man were injured by the car, according to the witnesses . The husband of the woman came later to the place and said his daughter was slightly injured but the wife was seriously injured.
The embassy said only one of the five staff (4 Britons and Yemeni driver) who were on the board of the car, was slightly injured. The embassy also said in a statement that at least two bystanders were injured.
Broken glass from the neighboring buildings and blood was seen in the scene . The security forces were deployed in the area . In the framework of the security campaign to chase the attackers and suspects , more check points were installed in the city search cars
The British embassy said in a statement, sent later to media, "A British Embassy vehicle was attacked at approximately 0815 local time this morning in Sana'a, Yemen. 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. 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."
The incident took place, nearby Berlin Garden, not far from the British embassy, almost the same place where the outgoing British ambassador Tim Tolort survived an assassination attempt earlier on April this year, when an Al Qaeda suicide bomber killed himself after he blew himself up on the ambassador’s car.
Meanwhile, French man working in an Austrian energy company working in Yemen was killed when one of the company’s guards shot him dead while coming to work early morning Wednesday in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, according to sources in the company (OMV). A personal dispute , between the guards and the French man who works as a manager of purchases in the company, was behind the shooting, the sources said. The company refused to confirm or to deny the incident.