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Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 90 in Yemen

Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 90 in Yemen
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At least 96 people have been killed and almost 300 wounded after a suicide attacker, wearing an army uniform, blew himself up in the midst of a military parade rehearsal in a central square near the presidential palace in the capital of Sana, the capital of Yemen. A YouTube video of the square showed the bloody aftermath of the explosion, with soldiers running in panic and uniformed corpses piled atop each other.

A source from Al-Qaeda told the BBC that one of its members had carried out the attack. As the New York Times notes, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been fighting with the Yemeni military for the past few days for control of towns in the country’s southern province of Aden. At least 33 militants and 19 soldiers are reported to have been killed over the weekend near the town of Jaar, in Abyan, says the BBC.

The explosion occurred just before Yemeni defense minister Nasser Ahmed and other officials were to arrive in the square to greet the troops. Most of those killed belonged to the Central Security Organization, a paramilitary forced controlled by Yahya Saleh, a nephew of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The autocratic Saleh ruled for over 30 years before finally stepping down in February, following popular protests, dissension within the army about supporting the protesters or Saleh and a number of attempts by the Gulf Cooporation Council (GCC) to have him hand over power to his then-vice-president, Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Saleh’s refusal for months to step down from power was regularly cited as the reason for the ongoing chaos in Yemen.

Not long after Monday’s attack, Hadi — now the interim president — announced that Yahya Saleh and three other high-ranking military commissioners had been removed from power.

The deadly explosion occurred just as the US Defense Department confirmed that three American civilian contractors who were assisting in training Yemen’s coast guard had been attacked by militant gunmen in Yemen’s port city of Hodeida on Sunday. According to the BBC, a group called Ansar al-Sharia, or Partisans of Islamic Law, was behind the attack; Ansar al-Sharia was created in response to Yemen’s protest youth movement, which has pushed Salafi jihadists to the side.

Yemen, Al-Qaeda and US Counter-terrorism Efforts

In a May 18 article in Foreign Policy, James Traub writes that AQAB has over 1,000 members and is Al-Qaeda’s “most active operational franchise,” citing John Brennan, the White House counter-terrorism advisor. Both the 2010 underwear bomb plot and last month’s effort to plant an undetectable bomb on a plane — an attacked foiled by a Saudi double agent — originated in Yemen.

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9 comments

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10:22AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

This is horror.

2:31PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DhEwpRcPozE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LuUhs4z8w4

10:20AM PDT on May 22, 2012

sad

9:20AM PDT on May 22, 2012

sick and was in vain

9:20AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Tell US to start bombing the place to rubble and that will end it all. Perhaps US teaching the forces to suppress the public is not sufficient and have to go a step further. This will also suit the corporates and arms dealers and may give Obama another term in the office.

People have been demonstrating for a long time to remove their illegitimate rulers but are given no choices. Although deplorable to kill one self and others, sometimes they find no alternative and carry out the most heinous acts of barbarity which make no sense in any way.

US should try to be on the people's side rather than the despots holding on to power and pleasing their masters in the West.

8:39AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Devastating!

8:13AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Thanks

5:33AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Sick, sick, sick. It seems there's never an end to the number of dupes these psychopaths are able to recruit to do their bidding.

6:57PM PDT on May 21, 2012

So sad

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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