The military leader of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has admitted that one of its fighters attacked a hospital attached to the Defense Ministry in Sanaa early this month.

Qassim al-Rimi, commander of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a video posted on militant websites late Saturday that the attackers were warned in advance not to enter the hospital within the complex, nor a place for prayer there. But he said one fighter did.

Al-Rimi later said: "We accept full responsibility for what happened in the hospital and will pay blood money for the victims' families."

The leader repeated al-Qaida's earlier claim that the Defense Ministry housed drone control rooms and American experts.

The attack Dec. 5 killed 52 people, including seven foreigners from Germany, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.