At least 20 people were killed and dozens wounded on Thursday (December 5) in a car bomb attack and gun battles at Yemen's Defence Ministry compound in Sanaa, a military source said.

It was one of the most serious attacks in Yemen in the past 18 months.

The Defence Ministry said the attack targeted the ministry's hospital and most of the gunmen had been killed or wounded.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack. But the U.S.-allied country has been grappling with a security threat by al Qaeda-linked militants, who have repeatedly attacked government officials and installations over the past two years.

Violence is common in Yemen, where an interim government is grappling with southern secessionists, al Qaeda-linked militants and northern Houthi rebels, as well as severe economic problems inherited from veteran President Ali Abdallah Saleh who was forced out of office in 2011.

The insurgents were emboldened by a decline in government control over the country during protests that eventually ousted Saleh. They seized several southern cities before being driven out in 2012.

Presented by Adam Justice

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