49 Yemeni soldiers killed in suicide attack claimed by Islamic State

Photo Credit: Al Jazeera

At least 49 Yemeni soldiers were killed on Sunday in a suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State extremist militia in the southern city of Aden, local medical officials said.

Dozens were also injured in the attack that took place outside the Solban army base in Aden’s north-eastern area of Khor Maksar, the officials added on condition of anonymity.

A suicide bomber blew himself up amid the soldiers, who had gathered to receive their salaries, security officials said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement.

The al-Qaeda splinter group estimated that 70 “renegade” soldiers were killed and dozens others injured.

Forty-eight people were killed outside the same base on December 10 in a suicide attack also claimed by Islamic State.

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Aden is the provisional capital of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, which has been locked in a devastating civil war with the Iran-allied Houthi rebels for more than two years.

The rebels still control the capital Sana’a and other territory in Yemen.

In recent months, Aden has seen a wave of attacks, mainly targeting security forces. Islamic State has taken credit for most of the attacks.

Yemen’s conflict has intensified since March 2015 when the Houthis first advanced on Aden, prompting Saudi Arabia and Sunni allies to start an air campaign against the Shiite group.

Repeated bids by the United Nations have since failed to resolve the conflict.

US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh and met with King Salman for discussion on the Yemeni crisis, Saudi media reported.

The top US diplomat was also to discuss the issue with foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudis fear that the rebels will give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, a strategic foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.

(dpa/NAN)

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