December 7, 2013 - 10:17 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Yemen said on Friday, December 6 it had regained full control of its Defense Ministry compound in Sanaa a day after a militant attack, claimed by an al Qaeda-affiliated group, killed 56 people, including foreign medical staff, according to Reuters.
The Yemeni military's chief of the general staff said in a preliminary report submitted to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Friday that an estimated 12 attackers, mostly Saudi nationals, had taken part in the assault and were all killed.
The report, seen by Reuters, said gunmen wearing army uniforms opened fire at soldiers guarding one of the hospitals inside the military compound. An explosives-laden pickup truck was then blown up.
"The terrorists were estimated at 12 and most of them were Saudi nationals. The (investigation) committee is still working on acquiring more information about the terrorists and their goals," the report said.
Among the dead were medics from Germany, Vietnam, India and the Philippines, and 215 people were wounded, according to the latest government figures.
It was the worst such attack in 18 months, heightening international concerns about threats emanating from a state that shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, and flanks international shipping lanes.
The interim Yemeni government is fighting southern secessionists and northern rebels in addition to al Qaeda-linked militants, who are seeking to overthrow the government and impose their version of Islamic law.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), an offshoot of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen and among the most active and strongest arms of the global jihadi network.
"As part of the policy of targeting the operation rooms of pilotless planes, the mujahideen (holy fighters) have heavily struck one of these rooms in Defence Ministry headquarters," Ansar al-Sharia said on Twitter on Friday.
"Such joint military locations, which participate with the Americans in their war against this Muslim nation, are a legitimate target for our operations," another Twitter post read.