Al-Qaeda apologizes for attack on military hospital

CAIRO — The branch of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Yemen apologized in a video published online for an attack on a hospital in a military complex that killed 52 people.

Qassim al-Rimi, military commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), admitted that in its attack targeting the ministry of defence one of his fighters did not abide by instructions not to enter the hospital attached to the complex.

"We distance ourselves from what our brother did. ... We do not fight this way," al-Rimi said in a rare apology by the group, which is seen as one of the most active and dangerous branches of the international terrorist network.

"We confess our mistake and guilt and offer our apology and condolences to the victims' families. ... We accept full responsibility for what happened in the hospital and will pay blood money for the victims' families," said al-Rimi in the video, as he stood in front of al-Qaeda's black and white flag.

The attack earlier in December started with a car bombing at a military hospital in the complex in the Bab al-Yemen area, followed by shootings.

Al-Rimi also warned that "any ministry, camp or military barracks ... proved to be working with US aviation" will be a legitimate target for the group.

Yemeni military bases, as well as oil and gas pipelines and other facilities, have repeatedly come under attack throughout the last year.

AQAP has exploited the weakness of the Yemeni government and its limited control over remote tribal areas to maintain a considerable presence in the Arabian Peninsula country.

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