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At least 33 dead as explosion targets Yemeni Houthis

Yemen's powerful local al-Qaeda affiliate has targeted the rebels in the past

Published: Updated:

A suicide bomber killed at least 33 people in central Yemen on Wednesday when he blew himself up at a celebration by Shiite militia supporters, medics said.

Dozens of people were also wounded in the attack in the mainly Sunni but Houthi militia-held city of Ibb, the medics said, warning that the death toll was likely to rise.

The Houthis, were preparing for celebrations of the prophet Muhammad's birthday this weekend, the Associated Press reported.

No group claimed responsibility for the apparent attack, but Yemen's powerful local al-Qaeda affiliate has targeted the rebels in the past.

The Houthis seized large areas of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, earlier this year as part of a protracted power struggle with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Their critics view them as a proxy for Shiite Iran that wants to dominate the country, charges the rebels deny.

(With the Associated Press and AFP)