Yemen arrests 19 after U.S. embassy attack

DUBAI Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:15am EDT

1 of 13. Damage is seen after a car bombing near the U.S. embassy in Yemen in this frame grab taken from Yemen TV on September 17, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Yemen TV via Reuters

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Yemeni authorities have arrested 19 people suspected of being connected to al Qaeda and having links to Wednesday's attack on the heavily fortified U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Al-Arabiya television said on Thursday.

Two suicide car bombs set off a series of explosions outside the U.S. embassy in Yemen, killing 16 people including six attackers. No U.S. citizens were hurt.

The U.S. State Department said the bombings bore "all the hallmarks" of an al Qaeda attack but the United States had not yet concluded who was to blame.

A group calling itself Islamic Jihad in Yemen, which is unrelated to the Palestinian group with a similar name, claimed responsibility and threatened attacks on other embassies including those of Britain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

It threatened to launch a series of attacks unless Yemen freed several jailed members.

"We will carry out the rest of the series of attacks on the other embassies that were declared previously, until our demands are met by the Yemeni government," the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Thomas Atkins)

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