7 Pinoy hospital workers killed in Yemen attack

by Maria Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 06 2013 11:22 AM | Updated as of Dec 07 2013 12:35 AM

11 Filipinos also injured

MANILA (UPDATED) - Seven Filipino hospital workers, including a doctor, were killed in the attack on Thursday at the Yemeni Defense Ministry Complex in Sanaa, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

DFA spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia, through Ambassador Ezzedin Tago, confirmed the casualties.

"We will not disclose the names of the fatalities until their next of kin have been informed," said Hernandez.

Hernandez added that 11 other Filipinos who were injured in the attack "remain shaken and traumatized".

"One sustained a head injury which required surgery. The victims were working at a hospital located inside the complex," he said.

Suicide bombers

Hernandez said they were told that three suicide bombers were involved in the attack.

"The first suicide bomber, who tried to enter, detonated explosives at the gate. Another one was apprehended before he could enter, but the third bomber managed to enter and detonate his explosives causing buildings to collapse," he said.

Hernandez said the situation has already stabilized and Yemeni security forces are now in control of the complex.

"The survivors were taken to a safe place," he said.

He said the DFA's honorary consul in Sanaa, together with a Filipino community leader, are checking hospitals if there are other Filipino fatalities.

"Our embassy is also coordinating with Yemeni defense and the Defense Ministry to ensure the safety of Filipinos in that country," he said.

Ambassador Tago will also dispatch to Sanaa an embassy official to provide assistance to the victims, assess the situation and arrange for the immediate repatriation of the remains of those killed.

"We condemn this senseless and barbaric act and we call on the Yemeni government to bring the masterminds to justice and to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos and other foreigners in Yemen," he said.

Crisis alert level 1 still up in Yemen

Hernandez said that Crisis Alert Level 1 has been in effect in Yemen since October 2012.

"When we say alert level 1 that means there is an internal disturbance in the country and we advise Filipinos to take the necessary precautions," he said.

Hernandez added that they will be doing a thorough assessment of the overall situation in Yemen.

"What we have done in this point in time is to inform our kababayans in Sanaa about the developments there and gave them an advisory to be careful and be alert at all times and make sure to ensure their personal safety," he said.