Gunman kills 8 in Yemen bus attack

Updated 16 June 2014
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Gunman kills 8 in Yemen bus attack

SANAA, Yemen: A gunman opened fire on a bus transporting military hospital staff in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Sunday, killing eight people, including two women, and wounding a dozen others, security officials and witnesses said.
The attack on the bus in the commercial district of Sayla took place early in the day before rush hour. Shaher Mohammed Ali, a worker in the district, said he saw a lone masked gunman open fire on the bus after it slowed down before a ramp. The gunman then fled the scene in a car, Ali said.
Security officials had earlier said more than one gunman was involved in the attack, which they said bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a powerful local militant group that has targeted military and police.
The officials said the bus was carrying 20 nurses, pharmacists, cleaners and other staff working in the military hospital in Aden. Five of the wounded are in serious condition, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
In December, Al-Qaeda militants attacked a military complex in the capital that housed a military hospital, killing 52 people, including seven foreign nurses and doctors.
The group has also been linked to a number of failed attacks on the United States. Washington, which considers it the most active branch of the terror group, has provided training and assistance to the Yemeni government, including carrying out drone attacks against the group’s operatives.
The Yemeni government has meanwhile stepped up an offensive in recent weeks aimed at driving the militants out of their strongholds in the south.


Iran still short of nuclear deal’s enriched uranium cap: diplomats

Updated 11 min 44 sec ago
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Iran still short of nuclear deal’s enriched uranium cap: diplomats

  • Two diplomats said Iran produces around 1kg of enriched uranium a day
  • UN nuclear watchdog confirmed that Iran currently has around 200kg of low-enriched uranium

VIENNA: Iran is still short of the maximum amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to have under its deal with major powers but it is on course to reach that limit at the weekend, the latest data from UN nuclear inspectors shows, diplomats say.

This makes it unlikely Iran will follow through on its threat to violate one of the nuclear deal’s central restrictions on Thursday, which could have unraveled the pact altogether.

It also sets up a meeting with other signatories on Friday aimed at saving the accord, which is straining under US pressure.

“They haven’t reached the limit... It’s more likely to be at the weekend if they do it,” one diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

The 2015 deal, which lifted international sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities, is aimed at extending the time Iran would need to produce a nuclear bomb, if it chose to, to a year from roughly 2-3 months.

On Wednesday, the UN nuclear watchdog verified that Iran had roughly 200 kg of low-enriched uranium, below the deal’s 202.8 kg limit, three diplomats who follow the agency’s work said.

Two of the diplomats said Iran was producing at a rate of around 1 kg a day, meaning it could go over the line soon after the meeting of senior officials from Iran, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China in Vienna on Friday.

Washington pulled out of the nuclear accord last year and has imposed punishing economic sanctions against Tehran.

Iran has threatened to respond by setting aside some of the deal’s restrictions, which could cause the deal to collapse, though it has called on European powers to do more to shield it from US sanctions — a move the White House has called “nuclear blackmail.”

The European powers are scrambling to protect trade with Iran but what they can achieve pales in comparison to US sanctions aimed at slashing Iran’s vital oil exports to zero.

Diplomats have also stressed the European signatories are weary of Iranian demands that they sustain a pact that Washington has withdrawn from and said if Tehran followed suit, they would have little choice but to acquiesce in the reimposition of UN sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is policing the deal’s nuclear restrictions, does not generally comment on details of its inspections. It was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

“We’ve made it clear to the Iranians that we have zero tolerance on the nuclear issue,” a senior European official said. “They are close to the threshold, but we will wait for the IAEA to report back to us in the coming days.”