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Middle east

Mortar fire lands near French embassy in Yemen

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-03

A mortar shell was fired overnight in the direction of the French embassy in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, while a car bomb exploded just metres away from the city’s diplomatic quarter, a police source said on Monday.

"The two attacks happened after midnight. There were no victims," the source said.

The mortar shell struck near a concrete block that had been installed on a road leading to the embassy for security reasons, he added.

That incident came shortly after a car bomb exploded nearby on the main road.

"The shell landed about thirty metres (yards) from the wall of the French embassy," while the car "was parked halfway between the embassy and the residence of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital's diplomatic district of Hadda,” the same source said.

Such acts of violence have increased in Yemen where Shiite Huthi rebels have been advancing from the mountains in the far north towards Sanaa, in an effort to expand their hoped-for autonomous unit in a promised federal Yemen.

The prospect of a federal Yemen was originally mooted as a way to address grievances of the formerly independent south, where tensions are high as secessionist violence rises.

Al Qaeda militants have also seized foreigners in the country which is undergoing a difficult transition since nationwide Arab Spring protests that forced Saleh to step down in February 2012, after 33 years in power.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-02-03

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