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Series of blasts near US embassy in Yemen

A series of explosions struck near the US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, two witnesses told AFP.There was no immediate word on any casualties.

world Updated: Sep 17, 2008 12:40 IST

A series of explosions struck near the US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, two witnesses told AFP.There was no immediate word on any casualties

A blazing vehicle was visible on the road past the embassy compound's heavily fortified perimeter and police swiftly cordoned off the area, the witnesses said.

A US embassy official declined to comment on the blasts. "I cannot confirm it. I cannot talk about it," the official said asking not to be identified.

In April the State Department ordered the evacuation of non-essential diplomatic staff following an attack on the embassy claimed by Al-Qaeda the previous month and rocket fire on a Sanaa residential compound used by US oilmen.
The embassy called on Americans in Yemen to "exercise caution and take prudent security measures, including maintaining a high level of vigilance, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all travel."

In recent years, militants have carried out several attacks in Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and one of the poorest countries on the planet.

In October 2000, Al-Qaeda attacked American warship the USS Cole off the southern port of Aden, using a small boat packed with explosives to blow a hole in the side of the vessel, killing 17 American sailors.