Skip to comments.Militants attack presidential palace in mounting Yemen turmoil
Posted on 05/09/2014 6:32:49 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Four soldiers were killed in a gun battle of up to an hour that broke out when militants attacked the main gate of the palace in the capital Sanaa, a security source said.
Sanaa was in lockdown after the gunfight, with checkpoints set up at all the main entrances into the capital.
An explosion was later heard near a building used by the governments intelligence services in another district of the city, residents told Reuters. There was no immediate word on the cause of the blast.
In the south, Defence Minister Muhammad Nasir Ahmad escaped an assassination bid by suspected al Qaeda gunmen who attacked a his motorcade in the province of Shabwa.
The defence ministrys website later said the shots heard near Ahmads convoy was celebratory gunfire.
The violence capped a turbulent few days both for Yemen a country Washington sees as one of the main battlefields in its global campaign against Islamist militants and for its Western allies.
A French security agent working for the European Union was shot dead in the capital on Monday. Security forces staged raids on suspected militants across the capital on Wednesday and shot dead the man they said was responsible for the Frenchmans killing and for a number of other attacks on Westerners.
Citing recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen, the United States closed its embassy in Sanaa to the public.
Yemeni security forces also arrested two French men believed to be members of an al Qaeda cell in Yemen, an official security source told Reuters on Friday. Paris confirmed that two of its citizens had been detained.
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