Middle East

Blast heard near US embassy in Yemen turns out to be wedding fireworks

A large explosion followed by heavy gunfire was heard late Monday near the U.S. embassy in Yemen's capital Sanaa, but a Yemeni diplomatic source later confirmed the blast was wedding fireworks.

A senior U.S.defense official, speaking in response to the first reports, told Fox News the Marine watch at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa said there was no explosion or gunfire outside the facility and no sign of an attack.

A Yemeni diplomatic source later confirmed the blast was caused by wedding fireworks.

Yemeni officials said security forces had sealed off the area. They said they did not know how close the blast was to the embassy. 

They spoke anonymously as they were not authorized to talk to media.

Yemen is fighting a war against al-Qaida's local branch, considered by Washington to be one of the world's most dangerous offshoots of the terror network.
The U.S. and Britain evacuated diplomatic staff from Sanaa in August after learning of a threatened attack that prompted Washington to temporarily close 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and Africa.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.