Blast Heard Near US Embassy in Yemen, Officials Say it was Fireworks from Wedding

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ADEN, Yemen (AP) - A government spokesman in Yemen says an explosion followed by what sounded like heavy gunfire near the U.S. Embassy in the capital was fireworks from a wedding procession, not an attack.

The State Department also issued a statement saying it had no indication that reports of an attack on or near the U.S. Embassy in Yemen were accurate.

The reports came amid what appeared to be a security alert in the Yemeni capital, where the local branch of al-Qaida periodically stages high-profile attacks. Extra security troops have been seen in Sanaa (sah-NAH') since yesterday and motorcycles have been absent from main streets. They have been banned during past alerts to prevent them from being used to carry bombs.

Initially, two security officials told The Associated Press by phone that the explosion occurred near the embassy, and one said troops had sealed off the area.