ISIS claims bomb attack in Aden that killed 49
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a gathering in the southern city of Aden
A suicide bomber killed at least 49 soldiers in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Sunday, officials there said, which the ISIS group's Yemen-based affiliate claimed responsibility for.
The officials said the soldiers were queuing to collect salaries near a military base in the Khor Maksar district when the attacker blew himself up.
Abdel-Nasr al-Wali, a Health Ministry official based in Aden, told The Associated Press that 84 people were injured in the blast.
The attacker immersed himself among the soldiers at Al-Solban base, in al-Arish district, a military official said.
The ISIS affliate claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on ISIS-run Aamaq news agency. It identified the bomber as Abu Hashim al-Radfani and published a photo of him smiling and wearing a white vest as he stood next to the group's black flag. It also posted photos it said were of the blast that killed nearly 70. It was not possible to immediately verify the claim.
The attack comes eight days after a similar bombing in Aden claimed by ISIS militants killed 48 soldiers and wounded 29 others.
Yemeni authorities have for months pressed a campaign against militants who remain active in the south and east of the war-torn country. ISIS and al-Qaeda have taken advantage of a conflict between the government and Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa, to bolster their presence across much of the south.
The two extremist groups have carried out a spate of attacks in Aden, Yemen’s second city and headquarters of the internationally recognized government whose forces retook the port from the Houthis last year.
But al-Qaeda has distanced itself from the December 10 attack, claiming that it tends to avoids “the shedding of any Muslim blood” while focusing on fighting the “Americans and their allies.”
In August, an ISIS militant rammed his explosives-laden car into an army recruiting center in Aden, killing 71 people in the deadliest jihadist attack on the city in over a year.
(With Reuters, AFP and AP)
This article is also available in Arabic at AlArabiya.Net.