Gunman kills six worshippers in Yemen

Suspect arrested after mosque slayings
Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man sprayed automatic rifle fire on worshippers leaving a northern Yemen mosque, killing six people and wounding 10 in a shooting security officials described today as election-related.

A man sprayed automatic rifle fire on worshippers leaving a northern Yemen mosque, killing six people and wounding 10 in a shooting security officials described today as election-related.

The shooting occurred yesterday following noon prayers in Kharef, 18 miles north of the capital San'a, said the officials.

They said the suspect, who was arrested following the shooting, had taken part in a discussion on the upcoming municipal elections a day before and had left the meeting dissatisfied.

The suspect, who officials would only say was a member of the Hashed tribe, opened fire indiscriminately with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle on worshippers as they were leaving the mosque.

Five people were killed on the spot and a sixth died at hospital. Seven of the wounded were in critical condition, all suffering head wounds.

The Kharef area is a stronghold of Sheik Abdullah al-Ahmar, parliament speaker and head of the Islah party.

Pre-election meetings to discuss names of candidates and policies are common in Yemen, and are held in the presence of representatives of tribes in large halls.

Twenty two parties will take part in the February 20 elections during which Yemenis will also vote in a referendum on a second chamber of parliament and longer electoral terms.

Yemen is still reeling from the effects of a ruinous 1994 civil war sparked by south Yemeni secessionists. The 1994 conflict nearly tore apart the union reached in 1990 between the conservative north of Yemen and a socialist south.

Comments