Britain has expressed her condemnation over a terrorist attack in the Yemeni capital Sana’a that left at least 90 people killed and more than 200 injured, most of them Yemeni soldiers. British Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt has described the attack as ‘cowardly’.
In a statement issued from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London Monday, Mr Burt said: “The UK condemns today’s violent attack in central Sana’a in which scores of Yemeni servicemen were killed and many more injured. I am deeply saddened that so many have lost their lives and my thoughts are with the families of the victims. This tragic event underlines the scale of the security challenge facing the Yemeni government as it seeks to introduce key reforms and work towards completing political transition. As co-chair of the Friends of Yemen, we remain committed to helping Yemen in its efforts to implement security reform across the country, and addressing the threat from al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.
Mr Burt went on to say: “This violence comes the day before Yemen commemorates its National Unity Day and at a time when the country is striving to rebuild itself following significant political upheavals. This cowardly attack must not be allowed to stall or prevent progress towards the completion of rigorous reform. As we prepare to meet in Riyadh on Wednesday for the Friends of Yemen meeting, we are resolute in our support for President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi as he leads his nation towards a safer and more prosperous future.”
The UN Security Council also condemned “in the strongest terms” the suicide bombing. A council statement described the attack as a “heinous act” and vowed to combat “all forms of terrorism”. Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said one of its members carried out the attack in a square near the presidential palace. In its statement, the Security Council “condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack” and said its members “reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism”.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also issued a personal statement condemning the attack and called on all parties in Yemen to reject violence and “play a full and constructive role in implementing Yemen’s political transition agreement”.