US embassy in Yemen hit by car bombing, rocket fire

Hammoud Mounassar
Wednesday, Sept 17, 2008

The US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa was hit by a car bombing and rocket fire on Wednesday sparking a series of explosions around the heavily fortified compound, witnesses said.

The car was blown up in front of the entrance to the compound and gunmen in a second vehicle then opened fire on embassy security guards with rockets as well as small arms, one witness told AFP.

The witness said there were casualties among the Yemeni police detachment posted outside the embassy but he could not specify their number or condition.

It was the second attack on the embassy this year.

Briton Trev Mason told CNN television from Sanaa that he heard at least three big explosions around the US embassy from his nearby residential compound.

"We heard the sounds of a heavy gunbattle going on. I looked out of my window and we saw the first explosion going off, a massive fireball very close to the US embassy," he said.

"The gunbattle went on for a further 10 to 15 minutes followed by two further loud explosions," he said, adding: "We've heard there's lots of casualties."

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