Saturday 17 August 2019

Scores killed as suicide bomber attacks military camp in Yemen

Soldiers gather at the site of a suicide bomb at a base in the southern city of Aden, Yemen (AP)
Soldiers gather at the site of a suicide bomb at a base in the southern city of Aden, Yemen (AP)

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a military camp in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Sunday morning, killing at least 48 soldiers, a Health Ministry official said.

The Islamic State group's Yemen-based affiliate claimed responsibility.

Abdel-Nasr al-Wali, a Health Ministry official based in Aden, said 84 people were injured in the blast. Security officials said that preliminary investigations showed the blast was the work of a bomber wearing an explosives-laden vest.

The attack took place as soldiers lined up to collect their salaries, they said.

The IS affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on IS-run Aamaq news agency. It identified the bomber as Abu Hashim al-Radfani and published a photo of him smiling and wearing a white vest as he stood next to the group's black flag. It also posted photos it said were of the blast that killed nearly 70. It was not possible to immediately verify the claim.

The blast took place at the same military base that was also struck by a suicide bomber on December 10, killing 57 soldiers. The IS Yemeni affiliate also claimed responsibility for that attack.

In addition to IS, Yemen is the long-time home to an active branch of al Qaida, widely regarded as the most dangerous of the international extremist group.

Aden is controlled by a loose coalition of troops loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, local militias and jihadi groups. They are battling Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who seized Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in 2014 and later swept across much of northern Yemen.

The Houthi's advances forced Hadi to flee the country and seek shelter in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led coalition, mostly consisting of Gulf Arab states, subsequently intervened in Yemen in early 2015, launching a punishing air campaign against the rebels and their allies.


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