Government officials have confirmed that Ambassador Tim Torlot is safe and was not injured in the blast which today rocked the Yemen capital Sanaa. The only reported casualty was the suicide bomber himself who was reported to have been wearing a school uniform as a disguise.
A member of the Specialist Protection Branch (SO1), who was driving the car carrying the ambassador, was fortunately able to evade the would be bomber after spotting him on the side of the road next to the convoy's route. "My suspicions were aroused when I noticed that the 'schoolboy' was sporting the full facial hair and long, grey beard that is traditional amongst Muslim men here." he said.
Another man who was passing at the time said he had seen the unusual 'boy' but hadn't thought to report it to the authorities. "I did notice that he had some wires sticking out of the large satchel he was carrying, but I just thought it was maybe some work for a science project, or something like that."
Another factor in the plot's failure was that the man had positioned himself so that he had to run after the convoy, desperately trying to 'throw' himself at the rapidly disappearing cars. "The man was unable to match our speed and detonated the bomb too far behind us to present any real threat." said the SO1 officer.
The 'modus operandi' of the attack is identical to an attempt carried out against a South Korean diplomat last year. "Once the bombers realise that it would be better to stand in front of the convoy and wait for it to come to them, we are going to be in 'big trouble'." said a spokesman for the British Embassy in Yemen.
Nobody has formally accepted responsibility for the attack but the Al Jazeera website published a statement from al-Qaeda reporting that they were 'unhappy' about the failed bombing in Sanaa and the slip-shod way in which it was carried out. "We will ensure that next time won't be such a cock-up." they menacingly added.