x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Suicide bomber was from Yemen

The suicide bomber who targeted Saudi Arabia's deputy interior minister had been based in an area of Yemen known to be a base for many al Qa'eda militants.

JEDDAH // The suicide bomber who targeted Saudi Arabia's deputy interior minister Prince Mohammed Bin Naif on Thursday had been based in an area of Yemen known to be a base for many al Qa'eda militants, Yemen's foreign ministry said yesterday. The fact that a militant was able to get into Saudi Arabia so easily and target a high-ranking politician and prince has added to fears in Riyadh that the current unrest in Yemen could pose problems in the conservative Gulf kingdom.

The suicide bomber had come from Mareb, east of Sana'a, Yemen's foreign minister, Abu-Bakr al Qirbi, said. The foreign minister said the man claimed he wanted to hand himself over to Saudi authorities and urge other militants to turn their back on al Qa'eda. The attempted assassination is the first known attack in Saudi Arabia carried out by a Yemen-based militant since separate al Qa'eda operations in Yemen and Saudi Arabia merged in January.

A crackdown on al Qa'eda's Saudi branch forced it to move most of its operations to Yemen, where the government lacks control of large areas beyond the capital. wmahdi@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by the Associated Press