IS Suicide Attack Kills 45 in Yemen 08/29 06:16
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- A suicide car bombing claimed by the Islamic State
group in Yemen's southern city of Aden on Monday killed at least 45
pro-government recruits who had been preparing to travel to Saudi Arabia to
fight Houthi rebels in Yemen's north, officials said.
The men were at a staging area near two schools and a mosque, registering to
join the mission when a pickup truck suddenly accelerated through the
building's gate as a food delivery arrived, exploding amid the crowd, witnesses
"Bodies and body parts are scattered all over the place," said Mohammed
Osman, a neighbor who rushed to the scene. "It was a massacre," he said.
Over 60 wounded were being taken to three area hospitals, Yemeni security
officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not
authorized to speak to the media.
The men had been signing up to join a unit the Saudis hope will ultimately
be made up of 5,000 fighters. After some training, the new force will deploy to
the Saudi cities of Najran and Jizan, near the border, the officials said.
Aid group Doctors Without Borders reported on social media that their
hospital in Aden had received 45 dead, while the Yemeni officials earlier put
the figure at 25 but said it was likely to rise.
The IS-run Aamaq news agency said the attack was carried out "by a fighter
from the Islamic State who targeted a recruitment center."
Ahmed al-Fatih, who had been working at the center, said security at the
site was lax.
"There was no consideration of security," he said. "So it was easy for
al-Qaida or Daesh to pull off such an act," he added, using an Arabic acronym
to refer to IS.
Yemen is embroiled in a civil war pitting the internationally recognized
government and a Saudi-led coalition against the Shiite Houthi rebels, who are
allied with army units loyal to a former president. The fighting has allowed
al-Qaida and an IS affiliate to expand their reach, particularly in the south.
The U.N. and rights groups estimate at least 9,000 people have been killed
since fighting escalated in March 2015 with the start of Saudi-led airstrikes
targeting the Houthis and their allies. Some 3 million people have been
displaced inside the country, the Arab world's poorest.
U.N.-mediated peace talks in Kuwait were suspended earlier this month with
no signs of progress.
The Houthis and forces allied to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh seized
Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in September 2014, forcing the internationally
recognized government to flee the country. The Saudi-led campaign against the
Houthis has pushed them out of southern Yemen, but has failed to dislodge them
from Sanaa and the rest of the north.