Attackers poured fuel over worshippers at a mosque in northern Yemen, locked the doors and set fire to it, wounding 30 people, the official Saba news agency reported.
The attack took place Friday in the northern province of Amran, south of Saada, where troops are battling Shiite Muslim rebels who the government says want to install clerical rule in the Sunni-dominated country. It was not immediately clear if the mosque was used by Sunni or Shiite worshippers.
“Security authorities are investigating to identify the assailants and the motives of this criminal act,” Saba quoted Amran Gov. Taha Hajar as saying.
Eight victims in critical condition were taken to the capital San'a, while 22 were admitted to local hospitals for treatment for burns, the agency said late Friday. Several people suffered from smoke inhalation.
Saba said the attack was the third in Amran. In 2001 a man opened fire at worshippers, killing three, and in 2003 a bomb exploded in a mosque killing one man and wounding 50, it said.
Government officials say at least 250 rebels and about 120 soldiers have been killed since January in a campaign against followers of Shiite Muslim rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.
Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, joined the U.S.-led war against terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
Houthi’s supporters are not linked to al-Qaida.