[dehai-news] (Reuters): Shooting outside U.S. embassy in Yemen, 3 held

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Mon Jan 26 2009 - 16:51:12 EST

Shooting outside U.S. embassy in Yemen, 3 held

26 Jan 2009 21:28:35 GMT

(Adds shooting, State Department)


SANAA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Shooting broke out at a checkpoint outside the
U.S. embassy in Yemen on Monday and security officials detained three people
for questioning.


No one was hurt but Yemeni officials gave different accounts of the
incident. One official said it appeared to have been security forces firing
in the air to warn an approaching car. "Three people who were in the car are
being questioned," a security official told Reuters. "It does not seem that
they had shot at the checkpoint." But another security official said gunmen
in the car had opened fire at the checkpoint, hours after the mission said
it received a threat. Twin suicide car bombings killed 16 people outside
the heavily fortified U.S. embassy in Sanaa in September, in an attack later
claimed by al Qaeda.


In Washington, State Department officials said they were looking into the
incident. The embassy had earlier urged Americans to be cautious in the Arab
country that has been the scene of al Qaeda attacks on Western interest. An
embassy employee told Reuters by telephone earlier on Monday that the
mission remained open. "The U.S. Embassy has received a threat against the
embassy compound regarding a possible attack which could take place in the
foreseeable future," it said on its website.


"U.S. citizens in Yemen are advised to exercise caution and take prudent
security measures in all areas frequented by Westerners, including
maintaining a high level of vigilance, avoiding crowds and demonstrations,
keeping a low profile..." it said in a warden's report.




The statement came days after al Qaeda's wing in Yemen issued a video on the
Internet, carrying a call by its leader for attacks on Western targets, and
saying two Saudis released from the U.S. military prison camp in Guantanamo
Bay had joined the group as commanders. "We have to cut off the supplies of
the Zionist-crusader (Israeli-Western) campaign and kill any of the
crusaders we find on our land," Abu Basir al-Wahayshi, leader of al Qaeda in
the Arabian Peninsula, said on the video.


After the video was issued, a Saudi Interior Ministry official said nine
militants who had undergone "rehabilitation" before being released,
including some Guantanamo returnees, had been re-arrested, the state news
agency SPA reported. The official did not give the exact dates of the


Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he expected the
repatriation soon of 94 Yemenis held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp,
adding that they would be living with their families at a centre to undergo
"rehabilitation ... to rid them of extremism" before being released.


Yemen, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's ancestral home, joined the U.S.-led
"war on terrorism" after the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. cities in 2001. Yemen
has jailed scores of militants in connection with the bombings of Western
targets and clashes with authorities, but is still viewed in the West as a
haven for Islamist militants. (Reporting by Mohammed Sudam; writing by
Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Jon Boyle)


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