Militants who carried out a brazen daylight assault on the Yemeni defense ministry that killed 56 people were mostly Saudis, investigators said on Saturday.
The Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a merged jihadist network of the Saudi and Yemeni branches, claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, reports stated.
Investigators said the assailants wore military fatigues and penetrated the sprawling Sanaa complex when a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into the gate.
A hospital in the complex took the brunt of the assault. Among the dead were medics from the Philippines, Germany, Vietnam and India. Civilian patients and soldiers were also killed, Yemen’s supreme se-curity committee said.
The bodies of 12 attackers were likewise recovered.
Al-Qaeda for its part alleged that the complex hosted Ame-rican personnel behind drone strikes against its militants. There was no immediate evidence to support the claim.
Yemeni analyst Saeed al-Jamhi, who specializes in Al-Qaeda affairs, said the attack reflects “the level of the network’s penetration into security and military ser-vices” and shows it has access to “high-level information.”