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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 20:25 GMT 21:25 UK
Yemen bomb kills Spanish tourists
People gather around the aftermath of the explosion in Yemen
No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack
At least nine people have been killed after a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into a tourist convoy in Yemen.

Seven Spanish tourists and at least two Yemenis died in the blast at the Queen of Sheba temple in Marib.

About seven others were injured in the attack which the Spanish foreign minister said he "totally condemned".

Yemen has faced continuing unrest in recent years, which the government often blames on al-Qaeda operatives.

An interior ministry official was quoted by the country's state news agency as saying that the attack appeared to have been carried out by al-Qaeda.

"Preliminary information indicates that the al-Qaeda organisation is behind the cowardly attack," the official told the Saba news agency.

ATTACKS IN YEMEN
The site of the blast in Yemen
October 2000: Seventeen US sailors die in suicide attack on USS Cole in Yemeni port
October 2002: A similar attack against French tanker the Limburg kills one Bulgarian and wounds 12 others
March 2003: A Canadian is killed and another wounded after a Yemeni gunman opens fire at an oilfield east of Sanaa
Sept 2006: Four bombers and a security guard die when Yemeni security forces foil suicide attacks against two oil refineries

Witnesses said a vehicle entered a gate at the site, known in Yemen by its Arabic name Balqis, before it ploughed into the convoy of tourist cars and exploded.

The victims were reported to belong to a group of around 14 Spanish tourists visiting the site, some 170km (110 miles) east of the capital, Sanaa.

Witnesses said the bomb went off at around 1800 (1500 GMT) on Monday as the visitors were finishing a tour of the temple, built 3,000 years ago at the time of the Queen of Sheba.

In recent years Yemen's government has been fighting Islamists with the help of US special forces based in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.

Al-Qaeda has demanded the release of militants jailed in the country.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The Spanish tourists were killed as they visited an ancient temple



SEE ALSO
Country profile: Yemen
20 Apr 07 |  Country profiles
Queen of Sheba's temple restored
22 Dec 00 |  Middle East
Warship bomb: US appeal to Yemen
31 Oct 00 |  Middle East
Al-Qaeda fugitive killed in Yemen
01 Oct 06 |  Middle East
Yemen rebels 'accept' ceasefire
16 Jun 07 |  Middle East
Timeline: Yemen
20 Apr 07 |  Country profiles
Firebomb attack at Yemen mosque
07 Apr 07 |  Middle East



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