SAN’A, Yemen (AP) – Two mortar shells fired Wednesday in Yemen’s capital exploded outside the customs authority and near the Italian embassy, an Interior Ministry official said. No injuries were reported.
Italian Ambassador Mario Boffo told Sky Tg 24 television that the explosion caused no damage or injuries inside the embassy.
“We heard two strong explosions one after the other from the offices of customs authorities, a complex that is more or less 500 meters (yards) from the embassy and the ambassador’s residence,” Boffo said.
“We are trying to ascertain whether there were victims among passersby,” Boffo added. Yemen’s Interior Ministry said no casualties were reported.
An unidentified Interior Ministry official told Yemen’s state news agency the customs authority appeared to be the target of the attack by unknown assailants. The shells landed in the courtyard outside the customs building. Security forces sealed off roads leading to the area of the explosion.
Yemen is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East but also the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden and it has been the site of violence against foreigners before.
Earlier this month, a housing complex for foreigners was attacked in San’a but no one was injured. The complex is in an upscale neighborhood that also houses U.N. buildings.
On March 20, three mortars missed the American Embassy and crashed into a high school for girls nearby, killing a security guard.