Suicide bomber kills 45 in Yemen
Aden, August 5, 2012
A suicide bomber struck at a wake in Yemen's southern city of Jaar overnight, killing at least 45 people and wounding dozens more, the defence ministry said, in the deadliest attack since the army declared victory over Islamist militants in June.
The bomber appeared to have been targeting the head of a group of tribal fighters that sided with the Yemeni army during an offensive that drove Al Qaeda-linked militants from their strongholds in the southern province of Abyan.
"This is a cowardly, criminal, terrorist attack," said Abyan governor Jamal Al-Aqel, adding that an investigation was underway to determine the bomber's identity.
The attack highlighted the enduring threat of Islamist militancy in Yemen and may alarm the US and Saudi Arabia, which increasingly view the state as a front line in their war on Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
A local official said charred bodies were strewn around the site of the blast.
Further east in the province of Hadramout, a US drone fired on a vehicle ferrying suspected militants, killing its three passengers, a local official said.
Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) seized several towns in Abyan last year, establishing a foothold there while then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh was grappling with mass protests that eventually toppled him.
The US supported the Yemeni military campaign through which the army regained control of territory it had lost, but residents and analysts say the militants are simply lying low and waiting for a chance to regroup.
"A number of individuals from these gangs took refuge in the mountains next to the north of Jaar after the big defeat they were dealt by the army and Popular Committees," said state news agency Saba. "Today they resume their cowardly suicide operations".
Despite losing their territorial base, militants have shown they still pose a considerable threat, assassinating a top southern military commander, and killing four policemen in an attack on Jaar police station just last week. - Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol
- Crimea closes air space to commercial flights
- Missing Malaysian plane last seen At Malacca Strait
- Stolen passport holder on missing plane is Iranian
- China deploys 10 satellites to search for Malaysia jet
- Libya says halts tanker outside port; rebels deny it
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet
- China draws red line on North Korea