Militants Attack Yemen Defense Ministry Hospital, Killing 52

Relative of President Hadi Reportedly Among the Slain

A major attack hit the Yemeni Defense Ministry in the nation’s capital city of Sanaa today, killing at least 52 people. The official statement from the government said all the slain were “doctors and nurses.” 162 were also wounded.

The ministry’s on-site hospital took the brunt of the attack, but there are conflicting reports about the identities of the slain, as other reports say the death toll includes soldiers and militants slain in fighting.

The Defense Ministry’s statement also said a relative of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was visiting a patient in the hospital, was among the dead.

The attack began with a suicide car bombing at the gate, and was followed by a significant number of gunmen wearing Yemeni Army uniforms. Though initial speculation was that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was the most likely culprit, at least one government minister blamed factions loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was replaced by Hadi, a top military leader, during the Arab Spring.

So far no group has claimed credit for the attack.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of