Suicide bombing in Yemen kills at least 90 | News | DW | 21.05.2012
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Suicide bombing in Yemen kills at least 90

A suicide bombing in the Yemeni capital on Monday claimed the lives of many soldiers. The attack comes as the country's army tries to oust Islamist militants from strongholds in the south of the country.

Security officials in Yemen said a suicide bomber killed a large number of soldiers and wounded many others on Monday at an army parade rehearsal in the center of the capital, Sana'a.

Reports say more than 90 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the attack.

An official said the bomber, dressed in military uniform, blew himself up in the midst of a battalion rehearsing for a parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen.

Watch video 01:38

Suicide bomber strikes Sana'a

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was due to attend the parade, which was scheduled for Tuesday. The blast took place in al-Sabeen Square, near the presidential palace.

A military source said Yemen's defense minister and chief of staff were present at the rehearsal but were not hurt in the blast.

The incident comes a day after a US military instructor was reportedly shot and seriously wounded by Islamist militants in the Red Sea city of Hudaida.

The attack has been claimed in a statement by the militant group Ansar al-Sharia.

Fight for territory

Fresh clashes between al Qaeda fighters and Yemeni government forces on Sunday also left 17 dead in the south of the country, according to military officials.

They said eight al Qaeda militants, four soldiers and five civilian volunteers were killed in fighting in and around the town of Jaar.

Al Qaeda-linked fighters took advantage of political instability in the country in 2011 to capture a swathe of territory in the south. The army has launched a concerted and massive effort to drive the militants out, coordinating closely with a small contingent of US troops who are helping guide the operations.

The attack on Jaar is part of a broader assault to take back Zinjibar, the provincial capital of southern Abyan province. The city has been under al Qaeda control for more than a year.

The United States sees the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen, as the most dangerous branch of the terrorist network.

tj/mz (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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