Car bomb wounds 20 in Yemen's capital

GMT 10:58 2015 Tuesday ,30 June

Arab Today, arab today Car bomb wounds 20 in Yemen's capital

Car bomb explodes in Yemen
Sanaa - XINHUA

A car bomb went off in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Monday night, wounding at least 20 people, the state-run Saba news agency reported.

A woman parked a car and detonated the bomb near a house where people were gathering to offer condolence to a Shiite Houthi fighter who was killed in the battles, Saba reported, citing witnesses.

At least 20 people were killed in the blast, some in critical condition, Saba said, adding that soldiers shot and killed three people wearing explosive belts before they could carry out suicide attacks.

A security source said the explosion took place near a Houthi office and a military hospital, which may be the targets.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Islamic State (IS) group said on Twitter that the IS was behind the car bomb which targeted a Houthi office where Houthi leaders were having a meeting. However, no statement has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

It's the third bomb attack in less than two weeks. On June 17, the IS claimed to have launched four car bombing attacks against three mosques and a Houthi office in Sanaa, in which 18 people were killed and dozens wounded. Three days later, the group bombed another Houthi-controlled mosque in Sanaa, killing three people.

The security situation in Yemen has deteriorated since 2011 when mass protests forced former President Ali Abdullash Saleh to step down. The ensuing three years of reconciliation talks failed to resolve the crisis, but created a huge power vacuum for the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the IS to expand their influence in the country.

The Shiite Houthi group seized the capital Sanaa by force last September and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia in late March. AQAP and the IS have intensified attacks against the Shiite Houthi group since the Houthis started to advance into the southern regions where the terrorist groups are active.

The Saudi-led coalition forces have been air striking the Houthi group and forces loyal to Saleh on a daily basis since March 26, while pro-Hadi tribal fighters resisted the Houhtis' military operations in the southern regions.

Saba news agency said on Monday night that the Houthi group and Saleh's forces fired a number of Scud missiles to military camps in Saudi Arabia, in revenge for the air strikes.

Meanwhile, a UN compound in Yemen's southern port city of Aden was hit by warplanes of the coalition forces on Sunday, in which the UN Development Program office was damaged and a guard injured.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack on Monday and called for a full investigation into the incident.

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