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Blast kills at least 10 at police academy in Yemen's capital city

A Yemeni police officer holds evidence at the site of an explosion at a police academy in Sanaa on July 11, 2012.

Story highlights

  • Blast appeared to be work of a suicide bomber, who died at a hospital, official says
  • Officials blame al Qaeda but say public will fight back
  • Bombing targeted cadets in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen
  • At least 19 people also wounded, embassy official says

A suicide bomber attacked police officers and cadets outside an academy in Yemen's capital on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people, according to a statement from the Yemeni Embassy in Washington.

The bomber died after being taken to a hospital, the release said.

The blast happened around 1:30 p.m. at the police academy in downtown Sanaa, four Interior Ministry officials said.

At least 19 people were wounded, four of them critically, the embassy said.

"Yemen will counter the evil of terrorism with honor and bravery," Adel Al-Suneini, charge d'affaires for the embassy, said in the statement. "Al Qaeda today is not only facing the military and security services but also the fury of the Yemeni public."

Officials in Yemen said the blast bears the hallmarks of an attack by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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A Yemeni government official told CNN that the suicide bomber attacked as a crowd of people was leaving through the academy's main gate.

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"This is as cowardly as it gets. These are cadets, not soldiers, not fighters," said the official, who requested anonymity.

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The attack signals that al Qaeda is trying to demoralize the police force and scare people from joining the security forces, the official said.

"But it's a miscalculation. This will actually encourage society, which has been cooperating with the government, to fight al Qaeda more," the official said.

Wednesday's attack happened about 1½ miles from the site of a blast in May that appeared to be the deadliest attack ever on troops in Yemen. An affiliate of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for that explosion, which killed at least 101 soldiers and injured more than 220 as troops prepared for a national ceremony.

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