Yemen bomber targets troops, killing at least 90 | News | DW | 21.05.2012
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Yemen bomber targets troops, killing at least 90

A suicide bomber with explosives strapped under his uniform killed more than 90 people at a military parade rehearsal in Yemen's capital. An al-Qaeda affiliate has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi responded to Monday's bloodshed, saying his country would continue its war on terror by becoming "tougher and more determined in pursuing terrorist elements."

A statement read on state TV in Hadi's name said, "The war on terrorism will continue until we win, whatever the sacrifices are."

Hadi also responded to the attack by sacking two senior commanders and allies of his predecessor, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Bloody scene

The defense ministry said at least 90 soldiers were killed and 222 wounded in the attack on the capital, Sana'a.

The explosion, which took place in Sabaeen Square near the presidential palace, left behind scenes of carnage, with bloodied victims and body parts strewn across the 10-lane road.

"We had just finished the parade. We were saluting our commander when a huge explosion went off," said soldier Amr Habib. "It was a gruesome attack."

The wounded were ferried to hospitals in taxis.

"Most of the injuries are to the head, we have dozens paralyzed. We expect the death toll to rise. Most of the injured here are boys in their teens. Sana'a's hospitals are overwhelmed," said doctor Mohsen al-Dhahari.

Worrying trend

Monday's attack, along with an ambush on Sunday on a US military training team that injured an American military instructor, may be signs that the terror campaign in Yemen is reaching a more dangerous phase.

Yemeni authorities, weakened by the revolt that toppled Saleh, have allowed militants to overrun towns in the country's south.

Both attacks have been claimed by militant group Ansar al-Sharia, affiliates of al Qaeda.

"We will take revenge, God willing, and the flames of war will reach you everywhere," a statement by the group said on Monday.

Yemenis seen by the United States as a vital front in the war against Islamic militants.

tm/ncy (AP, Reuters)