The Yemeni government said a national moment of silence was observed to express condemnation for last weeks' al-Qaida attacks on the Defense Ministry. The official Saba News Agency reported a minute of silence was held Thursday, one week after al-Qaida attacked a Defense Ministry compound in Sanaa. Saba reported the Yemeni people used the observation to condemn the "criminal" and "cowardly" act. The Yemeni Defense Ministry said the attacks last week left at least 52 people dead and more than 160 others injured. Yemen was mentioned in a global advisory released in September by the U.S. State Department. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa was closed as a security precaution and is open only for limited consular services. Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa said during his weekly Cabinet briefing Wednesday acts of terrorism in the country would not undermine the resolve to reverse Yemen's history of instability, Saba reported. Yemen's development is challenged by al-Qaida threats, separatist ambitions and rebellions. Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi has pressed forward with a national reconciliation agenda since taking office in 2012. He told U.S. officials this year there were more than 100 Yemeni leaders working on the issue.