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Mohammed Ahman al-NAZARI





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: School shooting - Revenge
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: March 30, 1997
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1948
Victims profile: A headmistress, a teacher, a cafeteria worker, a by stander and two students
Method of murder: Shooting (Kalashnikov assault rifle)
Location: Sanaa, Yemen
Status: Executed with a single bullet from a sharpshooter on April 7, 1997

The Sanaa school shooting was a school shooting that occurred in Sanaa, Yemen, on March 30, 1997. 48-year-old Mohammad Ahman al-Nazari who had fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan began his rampage at Tala'i Private School in the Asbahi township.

Armed with an illegaly obtained Kalashnikov assault rifle he waited for the headmistress and killed her by shooting her in the head. After killing a cafeteria worker and injuring a bus driver who came to help he entered the school building and walked from classroom to classroom, shooting indiscriminately at teachers and students. Subsequently he went to nearby Musa Bin Nusayr School where he continued his rampage, that left a total of six people dead and 12 others wounded, before he himself was injured and arrested.

Nazari, whose five children attended the Tala'i school, alleged that one of his daughters had been raped by the school administrator. No evidence was found of this. Nazari had been a bus driver for the two schools, but was fired for unkown reasons some time before the shooting.

After being declared sane, Nazari, whose name was also reported as being Hassan Ali al-Baadani or Muhammad Ahmad al-Naziri, was sentenced to death the next day for killing a headmistress, a teacher, a cafeteria worker, a bystander and two students and executed with five shots in the chest in an empty lot between the two schools on April 5, 1997. An initial sentence to nail his body on a cross for three days was repealed.

After his execution Nazari's body was kicked to a pulp by angry citizens and burned. His daughters fought the courts against the execution but lost. The daughter who was allegedly raped committed suicide 5 years later; the other four children all died in a train accident in 2006.


  • Asma Abd al-Bari, headmistress of Tala'i school
  • Muhammad Yahya al-Ulufi, teacher at Tala'i school
  • Husayn Ali Qa'id al-Ba'dani
  • Ali Muhammad Muqbil al-Awadi
  • Imad Muhammad al-Raymi
  • Unidentified student


Mohammad Ahman al-Nazari

Distraught over "indiscretions" by his teen-age daughters, Hassan opened fire at two high schools in the Yemeni capital of San'a, killing at six people, including four students.

On March, 30, 1997, the angry father waited outside the gates of Al-Tallai private high school, which his two daughters attended, for the headmistress, Asma al-Nomaan. When she arrived, he fatally shot her in the head. He then killed a cafeteria employee who rushed to cover her body and wounded a bus driver who tried to block him from entering the school.

Once inside the schoolhouse, he went from classroom to classroom, shooting at hundreds of students killing three and wounding one teacher before walking 500 yards to the nearby Moussa bin Nussair High School. There he killed three more students and wounded another teacher before being wounded and arrested. An Interior Ministry statement said 11 pupils from the two schools and three other people were wounded.

A day after his deadly rampage, the disgruntled Yemeni father was sentenced to death by firing squad. Nazari told the court that he worked as a bus driver for the two schools where he rampaged and that the headmistress he killed had him fired. The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that Hassan intended to kill a headmistress and her husband because of the couple's part in the alleged rape of his daughter.

On April 7, 1997, as crowds yelled "God is greatest," the vengeful father was publicly executed in front of the two schools were the rampage took place with a single bullet from a sharpshooter. His corpse was then nailed to a cross and left displayed in public for three days.


Court orders killer shot, nailed to cross

Los Angeles Times

April 3, 1997

An appeals court ordered a man who opened fired last weekend on two schools, killing six people, to be executed by firing squad and his corpse nailed to a cross for three days. The appeals court ordered that Mohammed Nazari's body be displayed near the two schools, which face the house where his wife and children live.

Mohammed al-Nazari was sentenced to death Monday for killing a headmistress, a teacher, a cafeteria worker, a by stander and a student. Another student died Tuesday of wounds suffered during the weekend attack, and the appeals court added his name to the charge sheet retroactively.

The ruling must be ratified by the Supreme Court and the president, Lt. Gen. Ali Abdullah Saleh. The execution was expected to be carried out Friday.


Court rejects displaying gunman's body on cross

The Buffalo News

April 3, 1997

Yemen's supreme court today approved the death sentence for the gunman who killed four schoolchildren and two teachers but overturned a lower court's ruling that his body be nailed on a cross.

A Yemeni appeals court had ruled Wednesday that Mohammad Ahmad Misleh, 48, be executed by firing squad and his body nailed on a cross for three days near the scene of the killings. He had opened fire with an assault rifle Sunday on hundreds of children lined up in a schoolyard before morning classes.


Yemen to try man who killed 6 children, 2 others

SANAA, Yemen - A man who killed a school headmistress, a teacher and six children with an assault rifle attack on hundreds of pupils at two schools in the Yemeni capital Sanaa will be tried Monday, an official said Sunday.

"The prosecution general in the southern part of the capital Sanaa has completed its interrogation of suspect Mohammad Ahmad Misleh al-Nazari who opened fire at random inside the two schools Sunday morning..." , Prosecutor-General Mohammad al-Badri told the official news agency SABA.

"It was decided to try him Monday at the court for emergency matters at the court of appeal," he said adding that the proceedings will be open.

Earlier in the day, an Interior Ministry statement said 11 pupils from the two neighboring schools and three other people were wounded.

A security official named the headmistress as Asma Noman, an Egyptian woman in her 40s whose son was also killed.

Police arrested the gunman after an exchange of fire with security forces in which the man was wounded in the leg as he tried to escape. None of the security forces were reported hurt.

Witnesses described the assailant as a disgruntled former bus driver who had been fired by the headmistress at the Talaeh School.

The security official said he believed the gunman was insane.

Witnesses said the attacks spread panic among the more than 1, 000 students aged between six and 18 at Talaeh and nearby Musa Ibn al-Naseer school in the middle class residential suburb of Asbahi, about four miles south of the city center.

The schools were closed after the shootings as parents collected their children from classrooms.

Witnesses said the attack was the first incident of its kind in Sanaa.

Guns, many of them Kalashnikov automatic rifles, are openly carried in Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries.

Unofficial estimates put the number of firearms in the country at nearly 50 million -- three times the population of 16 million.


Crowd cheers at execution of killer

Los Angeles Times

April 6, 1997

A man who shot to death four children and two teachers was executed in front of cheering crowds near the two schools where the killings took place. As a single sharpshooter executed Mohammed Nazari, 48, crowds yelled "God is greatest" and "long live justice."

Witnesses said it was the first public execution in decades. Nazari was sentenced to death for opening fire with an assault rifle on the neighboring schools March 30. Yemen's highest court on Thursday approved the death sentence ruling of a Yemeni appeals court, but overturned an order that Nazari's body should be nailed to a cross and displayed for three days.


Mohammed Nazari

April 7, 1997

As crowds yelled "God is greatest," Mohammed, the vengeful father who killed six people in the Yemeni capital of San'a on March 30, was publicly executed with a single bullet from a sharpshooter in front of the two schools were the rampage took place. His corpse was then nailed to a cross and will be displayed in public for three days.



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