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Yemen arrests gunman after shooting at US embassy

Written by: Staff
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SANAA, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Yemeni security forces shot and wounded, and arrested a gunman after he opened fire at the US embassy in Sanaa late on Monday, a government official said today.

''He is now in hospital under heavy security and will be interrogated,'' the official said.

An interior ministry official told Reuters the authorities were investigating the incident and identified the gunman as Salem Mohammad Elwan, a Yemeni.

The gunman opened fire with an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle at the fortified compound and was shot and wounded by members of the large Yemeni security force guarding the site. No embassy staff were hurt.

Yemen beefed up security round the embassy today increasing the number of guards and blocking a road leading to the compound. A US diplomat told Reuters the embassy would be closed for the day but did not comment on the attack.

The embassy said in a statement posted on its Web site it would open to the public tomorrow.

Yemen cracked down on al Qaeda-linked militants after an attack on the US warship Cole in 2000 that killed 17 sailors.

An explosives-filled boat rammed the French tanker Limburg off the Yemeni coast in 2002.

Yemen, the ancestral home of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, joined the US-led war on terrorism after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

REUTERS PDMM VC2050

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