September 26, 2012 / 8:01 PM / 5 years ago

Five Yemenis dead when qat-seller's grenade explodes

SANAA (Reuters) - A Yemeni qat-seller killed himself and four customers on Wednesday when a grenade he kept in his coat pocket exploded in a crowded market, a security source said.

The man in the town of Yafei grabbed what he apparently thought were his car keys, pulling the grenade’s pin and setting it off. Twenty were wounded in the market where the narcotic plant which Yemenis chew is sold.

It was not clear why the man had a grenade in his pocket. The security source said he had no political background.

The Arabian Peninsula state, which is awash with weaponry, is trying to recover after a year-long uprising forced former ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February.

With the writ of the state weak due to the political and economic turmoil, Islamist militants have grown in strength in some areas. Most political and tribal groups, and many individuals, have their own stash of arms.

Reporting by Dhuyazan Mukhashaf; Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Myra MacDonald

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