Dozens killed by suicide bomber in military uniform in Yemen
A suicide bomber dressed in military uniform blew himself up in the middle of a battalion of soldiers in the Yemen capital Sana'a on Monday, killing at least 96 people and wounding dozens of others, according to an official.
The military official said that the toll could rise following the attack.
The bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of battalion of soldiers rehearsing for an army parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen, the official added.
So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the blast which according to witnesses was heard across the city, causing panic among residents.
The unidentified bomber detonated his explosives as soldiers from the government's central security forces, commanded by a nephew of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, rehearsed for an army parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen, according to the official.
Yemen's defence minister, Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, was present at the time of the explosion but escaped unharmed, the official added.
Witnesses said human remains were scattered across the site of the blast at Sanaa's Sabeen Square, where the Yemeni government often holds large military parades.
Monday's attack is the most deadly since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took power in February with a pledge to fight al-Qaeda's growing presence in the county.
It comes 10 days into a massive army offensive against al-Qaeda in Yemen's restive southern Abyan province, where the jihadists have seized control of a string of towns and cities in attacks launched since last May.
Yemen is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which the United States views as a major security threat, not only in the region but also on US soil.
Militants have exploited political instability in Yemen to gain a foothold in a country paralysed for most of 2011 by protests that eventually unseated President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The offensive followed days after the White House announced that a plot by AQAP to blow up a US airliner had been foiled.
A senior US official told the New York Times that a bomb for the would-be attack was sewn into "custom fit" underwear that would have been difficult to detect even in a careful pat-down at an airport.