South Korean convoy in Yemen escapes suicide bomber

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SANA’A - A group of South Korean government officials and relatives of victims of a suicide bombing in Yemen narrowly escaped an attack themselves Wednesday in the Middle Eastern country.

A suicide bomber blew himself up on a road leading to Sana’a International Airport as the South Korean convoy passed by, police officials said.

The attack took place as the convoy was leaving the al-Dailami military base for the airport. The bomber, who was killed in the attack, had been waiting outside the gate of the base.

There were no other casualties in the attack. Police told DPA that the attacker apparently missed his target by triggering his explosive belt seconds after the convoy passed.

South Korean investigators and diplomats were in the convoy, police said.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said from Seoul that its three cars also included relatives of victims of a bombing Sunday that killed four Korean tourists and a Yemeni tour guide in south-eastern Hadhramout province.

That incident occurred as a three-car convoy carrying nine Korean tourists travelled an isolated road leading to a mountain overlooking the historical city of Shibam, about 900 km east of Sana’a.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said it was told by Yemeni authorities that Sunday’s attack was carried out by Al-Qaeda.

Hadhramout is one of the strongholds of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, and was the scene of a shooting attack on a Belgian tourist convoy in January 2008, in which two female Belgian tourists and three Yemeni drivers were killed.

The South Korean group that narrowly escaped Wednesday’s bombing consisted of four officials and three relatives, Seoul said. They were in Yemen to collect information on Sunday’s attack.

Filed under: Gulf-Middle East

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