Guards thwart suicide attack on Yemen central bank

ADEN - Guards thwarted a suicide attack on the Yemeni central bank on Saturday opening fire on the bomber's vehicle and blowing it up before it reached the building, a security official said.

The central bank has been based in the government-controlled second city of Aden since last month, when President Abedabbo Mansour Hadi ordered its relocation from the rebel-held capital Sanaa accusing the rebels of running down its foreign reserves.

Five guards were wounded when the bomber's vehicle blew up around 30 metres (yards) from the bank building, the security official told AFP.

The force of the blast shattered the bank's windows and caused damage to other nearby buildings.

The bank's relocation has been a major blow to the rebels, forcing them to halt salary payments to state employees in the large areas of the country they control.

The move came after a UN report released in August found that the rebels and their allies were diverting about $100 million a month from the central bank, and that its foreign reserves had dwindled to $1.3 billion from about $4 billion in November 2014.

A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels alongside Hadi's forces since March last year but his writ is still largely confined to the south and areas along the Saudi border.

Government targets in Aden have also been repeatedly hit by jihadists of both Al-Qaeda and its rival the Islamic State group.

The two groups have taken advantage of the conflict between the government and the rebels to bolster their presence across much of the south.