Al-Qaeda terrorists have claimed responsibility for a car bomb that killed three people at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Yemen on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
Wednesday’s bombing, the second in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa claimed by Al-Qaeda in as many months, blew a large hole in the Iranian residence and sent rubble flying across the street of the well-guarded diplomatic quarter of the city, a witness said.
A Yemeni civilian and two soldiers were killed, a medical official said. 17 people, mostly employees at a nearby oil ministry building, were wounded.
The ambassador was unhurt, having left his residence for the embassy 10 minutes earlier, security officials said.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility on its Twitter account. It said its fighters parked the car and left the scene, killing several Iranian employees and local guards. Security officials said it was a suicide attack and no Iranian staff were harmed.
Iran, the Middle East’s major Shiite power, backs the Houthi rebel movement that seized control of Sanaa in September and has since taken swathes of the country’s north and center.
AQAP, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Sanaa on October 9 that killed 47 people at a Houthi checkpoint, opposes the political ascendancy of the Houthis, who took over Sanaa after weeks of anti-government demonstrations.
AQAP is regarded by Washington as Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous franchise and has been linked to failed terror plots in the United States.
A recent unprecedented operation, reportedly carried out by U.S. special forces, succeeded in killing several high-level AQAP operatives, including notorious explosives expert Ibrahim al-Asiri.
It came after an equally unprecedented public meeting of Al-Qaeda commanders in the country.