UK embassy an al-Qaeda target

2009-12-24 18:30

Sanaa - The British embassy in Sanaa was the target of an al-Qaeda suicide plot foiled by Yemeni authorities last week, a defence ministry-linked website said on Thursday.

An al-Qaeda cell dismantled in Arhab, 35km north of the capital, last week "was aimed at infiltrating and blowing up targets, including the British embassy, foreign interests and government buildings", said a statement posted on the ministry newspaper's website.

"The operation was in its final phase (of preparation)... A group of eight suicide bombers were to carry out the operation using explosive belts and two car bombs," the statement quoted security sources as saying.

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, it added.

In all, co-ordinated operations against al-Qaeda in Arhab, Sanaa and the southern province of Abyan on December 17 killed 38 suspects. A further 29 have been arrested.

The Yemeni air force carried out a fresh strike against al-Qaeda on Thursday, killing 34 suspected members, including senior leaders, in a remote mountainous district of Shabwa province in the east, a security source said.