Car bombs kill 26 including 16 children in Yemen

Shi'ite Houthi rebels man a checkpoint in Sanaa December 11, 2014. (Reuters)

Two suicide car bombers rammed their vehicles into a Shiite rebels' checkpoint and a house south of the Yemeni capital Tuesday as a school bus was traveling nearby, killing at least 26 people including at least 16 primary school students, according to the Yemeni government, rebels and witnesses.

The children were killed when their school bus was caught up in the attack targeting the home of a leader of the Shiite militia, known as Houthis, in the town of Rada, a local security source told AFP, blaming the attack on al-Qaeda militants.

Yemen has been rocked by instability since the Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa in September.

The Houthis have since been expanding their presence throughout the country but are facing fierce resistance from Sunni tribes and al-Qaeda’s powerful Yemeni branch.

Tuesday’s bomb attack was the second to target the group in Rada in little more than a month.

On November 12, a suicide bomber killed dozens of people gathered at the residence of a tribal chief in Rada.

The mixed Sunni-Shiite town has seen heavy fighting since the Houthis took over parts of it in October.

Yemen has been gripped by a power struggle between President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Houthis, who have allied with his predecessor, ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. On Tuesday, Saleh loyalists, who form the majority of parliament, derailed a vote of confidence on the new government's program. A raucous session Tuesday came to an abrupt end before a vote, after Saleh loyalists bickered over internal party politics.

They accuse Hadi of backing U.N. sanctions against Saleh and two top rebel leaders.


(With the AP and AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44