Suicide bombers in the Yemeni capital Sanaa have blew themselves up during Friday prayers at two mosques used by supporters of Shi’ite rebels, thereby killing 126 people and wounding 260 in the country’s deadliest militant attack in years, medical sources said. Reuters report:
Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the attacks, in which four bombers wearing explosive belts targeted worshippers in and outside the crowded mosques. Sanaa bombings happened as unidentified warplanes attacked the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden for the second day.
Anti-aircraft guns fired on two planes which dropped bombs on an area that includes the residence of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. He was unharmed, sources at the presidency said. Yemen is torn by a power struggle between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in the north and Hadi, who has set up a rival power base in the south backed by Sunni-led Gulf Arab states.
The mosques in Sanaa are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi group, which controls most of northern Yemen, including Sanaa. The rise to power of the Houthis since September last year has deepened divisions in Yemen’s complex web of political and religious allegiances.