By Wafa A.Alkhazzan
Four months after a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, medical officials announced that the damaged sections of Al-Aordy hospital will soon resume their normal tasks. thehospital is located inside the compound of the Defense Ministry in Sana’a.
Hisham Abdul Othman, manager of the hospital detailed the repairs.
“The outpatient clinics, and outlying sections, have been restored and processed, as well as the laboratory and radiology department. Ambulances have also been repaired. All were damaged as a result of the attack.”
“Only a few operational sections, as well as intensive care, remain under repair, and are expected to be completed in about a month after the arrival of devices from abroad.”
He added that the cost of repairing the hospital was about $3 million, finances by the Yemeni government. Foreign doctors who survived the attack have mostly left Yemen, but Othman says that twelve Filipina nurses will return after starting a week before the attack. The hospital is expected to be reopened about in mid-May, with additional security measures as a sign of reassurance to worried officials.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants stormed the hospital on 5 December 2013, posing as members of the military, and carrying out an assault with light and medium weapons. Most had Saudi citizenship. They were supported by a car carrying explosives, as well as suicide bombers.
Among the dead were patients, both Yemeni and foreign doctors, as well as officers and soldiers from the army. All attackers were killed during the assault. Yemeni channels showed a video that clearly showed gunmen killing doctors and nurses, including one scene where a gunman threw a grenade at a patient.
Al-Qaida later apologised for the crime, with high-ranking official Qasim al-Rimi being particularly remorseful.
“We admit an error, and our guilt, and we offer our apologies and condolences to the families of the victims.”
He stressed that they directed their members not to storm the hospital, but a rogue fighter did not listen and commanded the attack.
“Oh God, we are innocent of what was done by our brothers, for we did not order them to do so, and we do not accept what he has done.”
Al-Aordy hospital is considered to be the country’s most famous hospital, and is equipped with modern technologies for the treatment of senior officers and government officials.