As many as 1,988 Indonesians have been evacuated from Yemen since December, but 619 remain mainly in Oman and Saudi Arabia, and are waiting to get repatriated. (Antara Foto/Iggoy El Fitra)

Explosion Leaves Indonesian Embassy in Yemen '90 Percent Destroyed'


APRIL 20, 2015

[Updated at 6:20 p.m. on Monday, April 20, 2015, to rewrite, add Foreign Ministry statement and details]

Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has condemned Monday's bombing of a weapons depot in Sanaa that destroyed the Indonesian embassy building nearby and left two diplomats and another Indonesian national injured, her ministry said in a statement on its website, adding that a large number of residents appeared to have been killed in the attack.

All Indonesian embassy vehicles parked nearby were also destroyed in the explosion, at 10:45 a.m. local time, the statement said.

"The government of Indonesia believes that this bombing proves that solving problems with violence will only lead to innocent people falling victim," the statement said.

"Indonesia stresses again that peaceful resolution through diplomacy and negotiations is the best way [to solve conflict]."

The government also called on both sides to end the fighting and make possible a ceasefire to allow for the evacuation of all civilians, including foreign nationals, from the area and for humanitarian aid to arrive.

The two diplomats and the Indonesian national who were injured in the bombing had received medical treatment, the ministry statement said, and were now together with other Indonesians, taking shelter at the ambassador's residence in Sanaa.

The Indonesian group was preparing to depart for Hudaidah, a city on Yemen's western coast.

Reuters reported that a Scud missile base was bombed on Monday, on Faj Attan mountain near Hadda district. The Indonesian embassy is located in Hadda district.

Aji Surya, head of the repatriation and social aid subdivision at the ministry, separately told state-run news agency Antara that the embassy building was "90 percent destroyed."

"Two people have minor injuries from the explosion, while most Indonesian embassy staff managed to evacuate to the Indonesian ambassador's house in Sanaa," he said.

Resident Adel Mansour told Reuters it was the largest explosion in more than three weeks of bombing by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

"For the first time since the start of the bombing the windows of my house smashed," Mansour said. "My children are terrified and one of my relatives fainted because of the force of the blast."

The Indonesian government has repatriated 1,369 Indonesian nationals from war-torn Yemen so far.

As many as 1,988 Indonesians have been evacuated from Yemen since December, but 619 remain in the region, mainly in Oman and Saudi Arabia, and are waiting to get repatriated.

A total 404 Indonesians are still in Salalah, in southern Oman, while 117 are in Saudi Arabia and 98 in Djibouti.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since Shiite Houthi fighters seized Sanaa last year and forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi into exile in Saudi Arabia.

The conflict intensified last month when the Saudi-led coalition began a campaign of airstrikes on Houthi positions.

Additional reporting from Reuters