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Bomb attacks leave 20 dead in Yemen

Bomb attacks leave 20  dead in Yemen

SANAA: A suicide bomber and a subsequent car bomb killed at least 20 people on Wednesday at a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, Sanaa, amid the country’s raging civil war, officials said.

The suicide bomber blew himself up inside the mosque during the evening call to prayers, while the car bomb exploded outside an entrance, they said. Medical officials said the death toll may rise with people now in operating rooms in several hospitals.

Witnesses said the car bomb exploded while people were carrying out the wounded from inside the mosque, adding to the casualties.




One witness, Hamid Ali, said the explosions left body parts and bloodied floors in the mosque. Wounded pleaded for help.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast in the capital, though an affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group (IS) has carried out similar bombings in Sanaa this year.

Yemen has been mired in violence since rebels, known as Houthis, swept down from their stronghold in Saada and captured Sanaa last September.

The Houthis are fighting alongside army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as well as southern separatists and local militias. A Saudi-led and US-backed coalition has been launching airstrikes against the rebels since March.

The conflict has killed over 2,100 civilians, according to the United Nations.

Earlier on Wednesday, gunmen shot dead two Yemenis working for the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday as they were traveling from the northern Saada province to the capital, Sanaa, the group said.

Rima Kamal, an ICRC spokeswoman in Sanaa, says the two were killed in Amran province.

Both Amran and Saada are fully controlled by the Houthis.

The U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for the country, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, and U.N. humanitarian coordinator Stephen O’Brien both condemned the attack on the Red Cross workers.

Saudi Arabia’s civil defence said on Tuesday that seven people were wounded when a missile fired from inside Yemen struck three vehicles in al-Tuwal village in the Jizan border province.

Last month, pro-government forces backed by Saudi-led airstrikes drove the rebels out of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden after heavy fighting.

In Marib province, more than 20 Houthis were killed in ground clashes with pro-government forces and in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition since Tuesday night, independent security officials and medical officials said. Nine pro-government fighters were also killed in the clashes in the same period, independent security officials and witnesses said.

Pro-government forces, who control the Marib province capital, are preparing for a large attack in the next two days, along with support from the Saudi-led coalition, anti-Houthi officials said.—AP

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2015

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