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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 17:01 GMT
Yemen: Targeted by friends and foes
Smoke plumes from the Limburg after it was attacked
The Limburg blast was similar to the USS Cole attack
The killing of three American missionaries has become the latest in a long list of attacks on foreigners in Yemen. But the country is also a target for international forces hunting al-Qaeda. BBC News Online details incidents from a turbulent three years.


Slain missionary Kathleen Gariety
Kathleen Gariety was among the missionaries slain
30 December: A lone gunman kills three Americans and injures another in an attack on a missionary hospital in the south of the country.

20 December: Two Yemeni police officers are killed in gun battle between security forces and suspected members of al-Qaeda at a south-eastern port.

9 December: US and Spanish forces stop ship carrying Scud missiles bound for Yemen. The ship and its cargo is later released after Yemen reassures the US the arms are for defence only.

Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, a suspect in the USS Cole attack later killed in Yemen
Qaed Senyan al-Harthi - killed in the CIA attack - was said to be involved in the Cole bombing
17 November: A newspaper reports that elite British troops are hunting al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Yemen.

15 November: Britain urges its citizens living in Yemen to leave due to a "heightened threat of terrorism". London closes its Yemeni embassy after a review of security.

4 November: Six alleged al-Qaeda suspects die when their car is struck by a missile fired from an unmanned drone operated by the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The Limburg tanker after it was attacked off Yemen
The Limburg explosion came two years after the Cole attack
6 October: An explosion rips through the French-registered Limburg oil tanker off the port of Ash Shihr, killing one crew member. Yemen later confirms it believes the attack - similar in style to that on the USS Cole two years earlier - was deliberate.

18 September: US officials confirm the deployment of 800 military personnel to Djibouti - across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld later visits the base which is identified as Washington's regional base to fight terrorism and says there are problems in Yemen.

9 August: Two suspected bomb-makers die when a device explodes prematurely in an apartment in the capital Sanaa.

7 August: Yemen announces the establishment of a national security agency to fight terrorism and liaise with foreign security bodies.

15 March: There is a small explosion outside the US embassy in Sanaa - apparently after two objects were thrown - but no injuries or damage is reported.

14 March: US Vice-President Dick Cheney discusses co-operation in the fight against terrorism with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in a brief stopover on a regional tour.

A Yemeni tribesman aims his gun
Arms are common in Yemen, as are kidnappings
1 March: US agrees to send military advisers to Yemen to train forces hunting Bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda.

15 February: Yemen confirms it is holding five men wanted by the US on suspicion of al-Qaeda connections.

13 February: A suspected member of al-Qaeda blows himself up after being cornered by security forces in Sanaa, Yemeni officials say.


18 December: Yemeni forces storm a village suspected of harbouring members of al-Qaeda. Well-armed tribesmen - thinking they were under attack - retaliate and kill 18 soldiers while the alleged Bin Laden followers escape.

29 November: A German businessman is kidnapped outside his home in Sanaa. Government forces rescue him nine days later after threatening his abductors. More than 200 foreigners - mostly Westerners - have been kidnapped in Yemen in the past decade. Most are used as bargaining chips and released unharmed.

23 January: A Yemeni man tries to hijack a domestic flight, saying he will blow up the plane unless it diverts to Baghdad. He is overpowered and later sentenced to 15 years in jail.


13 October: A bomb is thrown over the wall of the UK embassy in Sanaa, causing damage but no injuries.

A hole ripped in the side of the USS Cole
17 sailors died in the attack on the USS Cole
12 October: Suicide bombers blow up a boat packed with explosives against the side of the USS Cole at the port of Aden - 17 sailors die and a huge hole is ripped in the side of the warship in the attack later blamed on al-Qaeda.

11 June: A Norwegian diplomat is shot dead in a gunfight after being kidnapped while sightseeing in Sanaa His young son is left unhurt.

1 March: Poland's ambassador to Yemen is kidnapped by gunmen in the first targeting of a foreign diplomat. He is released after three days.

Key stories

European probe


See also:

28 Dec 02 | Middle East
07 Nov 02 | Middle East
06 Nov 02 | Middle East
05 Nov 02 | Middle East
30 Oct 02 | Middle East
03 Aug 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
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