Filipinos played dead to survive Yemen attack

By: - NewsLab Lead / @MSantosINQ
/ 01:53 PM December 06, 2013

This photo provided by Yemen’s Defense Ministry shows damaged vehicles after an explosion at the Defense Ministry complex in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car Thursday at Yemen’s Defense Ministry, killing more than a dozen soldiers and wounding at least 40 in an attack underlining the persistent threat to the stability and security of the impoverished Arab nation, military and hospital officials said. (AP Photo/Yemen’s Defense Ministry)

MANILA, Philippines—The Filipinos who survived the initial suicide attack in a Defense Ministry complex in Yemen capital city of Sana’a had to pretend to be dead to avoid getting killed in a shootout that followed, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

“Based on accounts of survivors that [our Honorary Consul in Sana’a, Mr. Mohammad Al-Jamal] was able to talk with, he said that the incident started around 9:30 in the morning,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a press conference.


“The first suicide bomber who tried to enter, detonated his explosives at the gate. Another one was apprehended before he could enter. But the third suicide bomber managed to enter and detonated his explosives causing [part of] the building to collapse,” he said.

Six Filipino medical workers and one doctor were among the 52 killed in the bombing while eleven other Filipinos were injured.


“Others survived the ensuing gun battle by pretending to be dead,” Hernandez said.

Foreign media reported that the suicide bomber had crashed a car full of explosives into the hospital which was inside the complex. Another car full of armed men followed and opened fire at the ministry.

A total of 52 doctors and nurses were killed in what has been described as the single worst attack in Yemen in 18 months.

“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,” Hernandez said.

Related stories:

7 Filipinos killed in Yemen suicide blast–DFA

2 Filipino nurses among 52 dead in Yemen attack


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TAGS: Acts of Terror, Department of Foreign Affairs, Raul Hernandez, Sanaa, Suicide Bombing, Yemen
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