Yemeni officials and police are seen at the site of a suicide bomb attack at a police academy in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. A suicide bomber threw himself into a crowd of Yemeni police cadets leaving their academy on Wednesday and detonated his explosives, killing several people, a security official said. (AP Photo)
SANAA (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people outside a police academy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, dramatically exposing the government's vulnerability to al Qaeda-linked insurgents despite a U.S.-backed offensive against them.
Yemeni Interior Minister Abdul Qader Qahtan told state television the death toll was 10, with 15 wounded, some of them in a serious condition. Security officials had earlier put the number of dead at 22.
Policeman Fadel Ali told Reuters police cadets were leaving the academy when the bomber attacked: "We ran to the place and found dozens of cadets covered in blood. Blood was everywhere."
Parts of the cadets' khaki uniforms were scattered across the dirt outside the academy, and blood spattered the walls.
Unusually, the suicide bomber did not die immediately but was evacuated to hospital by medical staff. He was missing a leg and an arm.
A Yemeni security official, who declined to be named, said the bomber told security officers before he died that he was affiliated with al Qaeda and came from Amran, a town 70 km (43 miles) north of Sanaa.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed the attack, just as it did a similar attack in Sanaa in May, when a suicide bomber in army uniform killed more than 90 people rehearsing for a military parade.