April 30, 2008 / 5:33 AM / 12 years ago

Shells land near Italian embassy in Yemen: official

A police vehicle blocks a street leading to the Italian embassy in Sanaa April 30, 2008. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

SANAA (Reuters) - Unidentified attackers fired two shells at a government office near the Italian embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa early on Wednesday, but there were no casualties, a security source said.

The shells hit the parking lot of the customs authority, which is adjacent to the Italian embassy, the source said, adding investigations were underway.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Earlier this month, an al Qaeda-linked group said it fired three mortar shells at a complex housing Americans and other Westerners in Sanaa. No one was hurt in the attack.

In March, a school near the U.S. embassy was hit by mortars, injuring 13 girls and five soldiers, in an attack Washington said was aimed at its embassy.

Separately, seven Yemeni troops were killed late on Tuesday in an ambush set up by Shi’ites loyal to rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in northwestern province of Saada, a government official told Reuters.

Yemen, the ancestral home of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is viewed in the West as a haven for Islamic militants, dozens of whom are jailed for involvement in bombings of Western targets and clashes with authorities.

Yemen, which joined the U.S.-led war on terrorism after the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities, has also witnessed a number of attacks targeting foreign tourists, oil installations and U.S. and French ships.

Reporting by Mohammed Sudam and Mohammed al-Ghobari; Writing by Ola Galal; Editing by Jon Boyle

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