CNN BREAKING NEWS
Suspected Islamic Extremist Kills Three American Aide Workers in Yemen
Aired December 30, 2002 - 05:02 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to get back to our breaking story this morning. A suspected Islamic extremist apparently kills three American aide workers in Yemen at a hospital there. A fourth was shot and wounded.
On the phone with us now is Walid Al-Saqqaf of the "Yemen Times," joining us from the capital there.
What can you tell us? What exactly took place there?
WALID AL-SAQQAF, WEEKEND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "YEMEN TIMES": Well, we've all been shocked with the news of the, it's the incident that's considered the first of its kind. One militant, an extremist, fundamentalist militant came into a room where three American doctors at the hospital, Jibla Hospital, which is actually a missionary hospital, shot the three Americans dead and then moved on to the pharmacy, where he also found another person and shot him, as well. So, and the fourth's condition is still critical. He's in surgery. So we are still waiting for the results of what goes on.
The investigation is going on with the attacker, who is said to have been apprehended later this morning.
CALLAWAY: We understand that this is a Baptist hospital that's been running for some time there.
AL-SAQQAF: Yes, indeed. I mean we've had news that it's been there for more, around 20 years. And it's been serving the community well on the humanitarian grounds. So it's quite unfortunate for this to happen. People in this area were somewhat outraged by this evil attempt by a person whom they say is not, does not belong to that area, but he came from another governorate in the north.
AL-SAQQAF: So they feel that it's been a way to sabotage the hospital.
CALLAWAY: Walid, we have reports that the gunman may have preplanned this, that he actually sought out one of the physicians that was shot.
AL-SAQQAF: Yes, indeed, one of the eyewitnesses there said that he came in the office as if he had a child hidden with him, beneath his jacket. So it was, it turned out to be an automatic, a semi- automatic rifle that he used against them. And then he knew that there was another American, as well, in the pharmacy. So it must have been somewhat organized. And he also knew that they would be meeting today. I mean not, it's not frequent to have them all together in one place.
AL-SAQQAF: But because of the event of the transition of the authority to their Yemeni counterparts in the region, they were meeting there altogether and he took advantage of this.
CALLAWAY: Walid, thank you very much for being with us.
I know you're with the "Yemen Times."
AL-SAQQAF: All right.
CALLAWAY: That's the very latest on the crisis there, the situation that broke out at a hospital. Three American aide workers were shot, were killed, and a fourth was wounded.
And the U.S. Embassy in Yemen has issued a statement on this, saying, and we're going to quote here: "We condemn the attack on American citizens. We call upon the Yemeni government to bring those responsible to justice and are requesting additional protection for American citizens in Yemen."
Stay with CNN. We'll continue to bring you update -- to update this story to you as long as the information is available.
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