Al-Qaeda Apologizes for Attack on Yemen Hospital

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Relatives show portraits of victims of a suicide attack that targeted the day before the Yemeni Defense Ministry on December 6, 2013 outside an hospital in the capital Sanaa. A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed car into the Yemeni defence ministry complex, followed by an armed assault in which 52 people died, including seven foreign medical staff, officials said.
Photo: Mohammed Huwais / AFP/Getty

A terrorist attack on Yemen's defense ministry earlier this month included a gunman who burst into an attached hospital and fired on doctors and other staffers. If that seems overly brutal, even for Al Qaeda, the group thinks so too. It apologized on Saturday, saying it had instructed fighters to stay clear of the hospital and a prayer facility. "Now we acknowledge our mistake and guilt," Qassim al-Rimi, commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a video released Saturday. "We offer our apology and condolences to the victims' families. We accept full responsibility for what happened in the hospital and will pay blood money for the victims' families." But he promised more attacks as U.S. drone strikes there also claimed civilian casualties. "We have a long list of these places."