12 Injured in Explosion at Arms Depot in Yemeni Capital
    2012-12-01 02:04:53     Xinhua       Web Editor: Xing Yihang

A weapon depot of an arms dealer in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa exploded on Friday evening, injuring at least 12 people, the Interior Ministry said.

"Until now, 12 people were injured by the explosion of the weapon depot in Sanaa and firefighters have put off the fire," the ministry said in a brief statement obtained by Xinhua.

The explosion took place in a basement weapon store belonging to arms dealer Garman Abdu Garman, which is located in a crowded neighborhood in southwestern Sanaa. Four nearby houses were damaged.

A police official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the armed bodyguards of Garman prevented the security personnel from entering the area for investigation.

Another security official cited two of Garman's bodyguards as saying that "a shell fired by unknown gunmen into Garman's house caused the explosion."

Garman is one of three well-known arms dealers in Yemen who come from the northern Saada province and live in Sanaa.

It is the second explosion in weapon depot in Sanaa in less than two months. Five soldiers died when a shell was fired accidentally in a military arms depot in Sanaa on Oct. 18.

The impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation which has a population of 24 million is already awash with weapons of more than 60 million pieces, according to local media.

Yemen is undergoing a UN-backed political transition that seeks to settle security, political and economic challenges and reunite the army in order to pave the way for launching a national reconciliation dialogue between rival forces, which has been delayed until December.

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