Three American doctors killed in Yemen

30 December 2002

Three American doctors working at a Baptist missionary hospital in Yemen were shot dead on 29 December. A lone gunman, subsequently arrested and named as Abdulrazzak al-Kamel, entered the facility in the southern town of Jibla posing as a relative and opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle. Yemeni officials quoted by Reuters said that Al-Kamel told them the attack was designed to bring him 'closer to Allah'. He was a student at Yemen's Al-Iman university, which was briefly shut down in 2001 over claims that it was a centre of Islamic militancy. A statement from the US Embassy in Yemen urged any US citizens in the country to increase their vigilance. Washington believes that Al-Qaeda operatives have taken shelter in parts of Yemen where central government authority is limited, and in November the CIA launched a rocket attack northeast of Sanaa, killing six suspected members of the organisation (MEED 8:11:02).

On 28 December, the leader of the opposition Yemeni Socialist Party, Jarallah Omar, was assassinated while addressing a conference of the Islamic Reform Party in Sanaa.

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