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3 Americans Killed in Yemen Attack - 2002-12-30


Security officials say a gunman, suspected of being a Muslim militant, entered the American-run hospital in the southern town of Jibla today (Monday) posing as a patient, then opened fire. Two hospital administrators and a doctor at the Baptist Hospital died on the spot. A fourth U-S national -- a pharmacist -- was seriously wounded in the attack.

The gunman was apprehended. Yemeni officials identified him as Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel. Security sources say he is believed to be linked to an Islamist opposition party in Yemen.

The U-S embassy in Sana'a condemned the attack, and called for increased security in the region. The embassy flew officials to Jibla to assist in the investigation. U-S officials urged the Yemeni government to bring those responsible to justice.

American Baptist missionaries established the hospital at Jibla 35 years ago and were preparing to transfer control of the facility to a Yemeni charity.

A spokesman for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (Dr. Jerry Rankin) said Monday (during a news conference at its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia) the board is committed to continuing its ministry in Yemen, despite the deadly attack.

Monday's attack came two days after a high-ranking official with the Yemeni Socialist Party was shot dead at a conference of the Islamic Islah (Reform) Party. Both organizations are opposition parties in Yemen.

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