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Daily Archives: September 23, 2008

Yemen holds six over embassy attack

Yemen said yesterday it is holding six key suspects over a deadly attack on the US embassy last week, including an Islamist militant who claimed responsibility for the strike.
"Security services succeeded in arresting six people, of whom some belong to Islamic Jihad, linked to Al-Qaeda and which claimed the attack," the interior ministry said in a statement.
"One of these people answers to the name of Abu Ghaith al-Yamani, who signed a statement claiming the attack," the ministry added.
It also announced the death of two people who were wounded in the September 17 attack, taking the death toll to 18. According to the US State Department, one American woman died in the attack, along with her Yemeni husband.
The ministry said members of the cell had posted many statements on the Internet, sometimes in the name of Islamic Jihad and sometimes in the name of another group, "Committee of Virtue".
The group was behind threats against other foreign embassies in Sanaa, including those of Saudi Arabia, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands, it said.
In a statement last week signed by Yamani, a group calling itself Islamic Jihad said it was demanding the release from Yemeni prisons of its "detained brothers".
The ministry said a total of 50 people in all have been arrested over the attack, in which six assailants were killed.
On Saturday, security services stepped up protection around foreign embassies and in other parts of Yemen's capital following the attack, which was the second strike in six months on the US mission.
In recent months Yemen has seen a series of attacks on security services and oil installations claimed by groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

Probe launched after 13 newborns die in Turkish hospital

Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation after 13 newborn babies died in 24 hours at a state hospital in the western city of Izmir, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
The babies, all of whom were prematurely born and underdeveloped, died at the newborn unit of Tepecik hospital on Saturday and Sunday, Turkish newspapers reported, suggesting that an infection was to blame.
The local prosecutor's office yesterday ordered that five of the babies, who had already been interred before officials became suspicious, be exhumed for an autopsy, Anatolia said.
The bodies of the remaining babies were already at the local coroner's office, it added.
The head of the local health directorate, Mehmet Ozkan, told Anatolia a medical investigation was also underway to determine the cause of the deaths.
A detailed statement could be made later in the day, he added.
In remarks published in the mass-circulation Sabah newspaper, the hospital's chief physician said they suspected an infection could be behind the deaths.
"Under normal conditions, we lose five or six babies in three days and less than 20 in a month," Professor Gazi Yigitbasi said.
The NTV news channel said a team of doctors from various universities in Izmir would inspect the hospital while tests were being done on samples taken from the unit where the babies died.
The incident at Tepecik hospital is the latest in a string of deaths in recent years that have raised questions over standards in newborn units.
In August, a state hospital in capital Ankara reported that 27 newborn babies had died over a 15-day period.
The hospital said at the time the deaths were caused by a variety of reasons, including hypertension, heart failure and complications at birth. Trade union officials however blamed it on an infection triggered by poor sanitary conditions.
In 2005, eight premature babies died of a bacterial infection in a hospital in the northwestern city of Edirne, and an infection claimed the lives seven babies at a newborn unit in the central city of Kayseri.