Another ugly mosque massacre [Archives:2004/746/Front Page]

June 14 2004

The recent attack in a mosque in A'ns district, Dhamar province resulted in great concern and worry throughout the country as it is the last in a series of deadly attacks in the last few years. In this latest incident, a gunman opened fire on worshippers in a mosque during Friday prayers, killing four people and injuring six.
The shooter, identified as Abdel Fattah Saleh, was seen using an automatic rifle to fire randomly at the praying men in the mosque, causing chaos and outrage.
According to Yemeni authorities, the attacker was then found dead in his house where he fled after refusing to turn himself in to authorities. Police had to storm the house of Saleh who is believed to have died along with his daughter in an exchange of gunfire.
Investigations were under way, an official said. But he added that Saleh was not a wanted militant and that he has no record of violence or terrorist activities or plans. It is thought however, that financial or social disputes may have been the real factors that prompted the shooting.

Neither the first, nor the last
This incident comes after two people were killed and two were injured last month when a man detonated a hand grenade in a mosque in the southern province of Ibb. Another armed man in the same mosque was able to shoot and kill the attacker on the scene.
The phenomenon has become widely noticable in various parts of the country, which is estimated to have some 60 million firearms – or three for each citizen – in the largely tribal and, in some remote areas, lawless country.
Many complain that the security problems in Yemen may be largely attributed to the lack of law enforcement in many areas and due to the high number of firearms throughout the country. A new law to enforce an arm ban on all citizens would have been passed in the past if it were not for the strong opposition of tribal sheikhs and leaders who resisted the law fiercely.