As police cadets were leaving the Police Academy in Sanaa yesterday, July 11, 2012, for their holiday, a suicide bomber detonated himself at the southern gate killing nine and injuring 15 as reported by the Ministry of Interior.
The suicide bomber lost an arm and a leg and was alive when found at the scene. He was later reported dead in the hospital.
Since former president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down, suicide attacks have been a recurring phenomena in Sanaa and Aden. The last attack in Sanaa happened on May 22, a day before the anniversary of Yemen's unification, killing nearly 100 soldiers.
Reuters had reported that 22 people were killed and claimed that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack.
Iona Craig, a foreign journalist in Yemen, tweeted the following:
@ionacraig: Police academy students say six dead in suicide bomb attack. They claim bomber still alive after losing arm and injuries to side. #yemen
@ionacraig: Journalists straddling pool of blood whilst interviewing police officers outside academy. Don't call us vultures for nothing. #yemen
This video posted by Yemenivolume shows scenes at the gate of the police academy in the aftermath of the attack (Warning: Graphic content):
Many netizens were dismayed by this attack and some were skeptical regarding who was really behind it, not believing it was the usual suspect, Al Qaeda. YemenToday, a pro-Saleh television channel owned by his son Ahmed, was the first channel to reach the scene.
Yemenupdates tweeted a cartoon by Rashad el Samei in which the television crew are illustrated. The reporter speaking to “someone important” says: “Yes we are at the scene of the explosion but the suicide bomber hasn't arrived yet.” The cameraman replies: “Tell him we will go get some Qat and return.”
Cartoon by Rashad Al-Samie depicting a TV crew – close to a top military officer- as the suicide incident is staged. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?pid= …
Ibrahim Saleh wondered [ar]:
Ibrahim Mothana sarcastically tweeted:
@imothanYemen: Only in Yemen! Media reports that the suicide bomber managed to kill 9 people in the attack but stayed alive! Scientific explanation?!
@YemenPeaceNews: Nothing on AAS FB page about today's bombing. Actually, nothing new on their page for a few weeks. #Yemen
Others believed the attack to be by al Qaeda:
Gregory Johnsen tweeted:
@gregorydjohnsen:Today's bombing may be an indication of the direction AQAP is going in #Yemen after losing territory in Abyan and Shabwa.
Atiaf Alwazir tweeted:
@WomanfromYemen: to those who claimed that #Yemeni military had everlasting victory last month over #AQAP in the #South, think again.
@WomanfromYemen: according to “taiz city”, family of suicide bomber suspect denied he was the one responsible for attack but was caught in attack #Yemen
Farea Almuslimi tweeted:
@almuslimi: Now, everyone will drawn in “details” abt the bombing and forget the big questions; as always; poor #Yemen.!
Many questions are on the minds of Yemenis, if the suicide attacks were by Al Qaeda, why haven't they targeted the counter-terrorism special units or the republican guards or even the central security forces and whether they are that strong and unbeatable? If the Saleh's were the masterminds behind these attacks, then when, how and if they will be stopped?
What is the reconciliation government doing to stop these terror attacks besides condolences, condemnations and orders for investigations? But the most concerning question is how many more lives will Yemen lose and how much pain it will have to endure until stability and safety is established? If ever?