SANAA (AFP) — Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for a rocket attack late Sunday on villas housing US oil experts in Yemen's capital, a security source said Monday.
"Al-Qaeda has claimed the attack on the villas in Sanaa and the security services have obtained a statement confirming this from one of Al-Qaeda's websites on the Internet," the source, who declined to be named, told AFP
AFP was unable to access a website that traditionally carries such statements to confirm the claim.
Yemeni police arrested seven people in connection with the attack, the security source added, without giving details.
The attack was the latest to hit the impoverished state which has been plagued by Al-Qaeda-linked violence.
The attack on the villas, located next to a residential complex for other Westerners, occurred two days after the arrest in Sanaa of an Al-Qaeda operative, Abdullah al-Rimi, according to the security source.
Residents told AFP three rockets struck near the residences of US employees of the Yemen-owned Safer oil company, formerly known as Hunt Oil.
There were no reports of casualties.
The villas are situated close to a residential compound in the Al-Hadda neighbourhood of southwestern Sanaa. Foreigners, including Westerners and Arabs, live in the compound which also houses the oil company's offices.
Suspected Al-Qaeda militants have carried out several attacks in recent years in Yemen, the ancestral homeland of the terror network's chief Osama bin Laden.
Only last month, Al-Qaeda's wing in Yemen, which calls itself Jund Al-Yemen Brigades, claimed in an Internet statement to have targeted the American embassy in Sanaa in an attack that hit a nearby girls' school.
A schoolgirl and a policeman were killed and 19 people were wounded in the March 18 attack which Washington said targeted the US embassy.
In a statement posted on an Islamist militant website, the Jund Al-Yemen Brigades said it "launched five mortar shells at the American embassy in Sanaa."
The US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites, said the statement did not give a date for the attack but acknowledged that one shell missed the target and hit the neighbouring school.
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