ADEN – Around 25 were reported dead, following a suicide bombing attack in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla on Sunday. After the bomber blew himself up, ISIS claimed by responsible for the attack.
Noting that in addition to those dead, 15 were wounded as they lined up at a police headquarters, a security source said. This is the second fatal blast to hit the city.
Later, in an online message through its news agency Amaq, ISIS said the attacker was a “martrydom-seeker” who had detonated his explosive belt.
Through the war in Yemen, Al Qaeda militants found a chance to carve out a mini-state stretching across much of the southern coast but an attack by government troops backed by the United Arab Emirates reversed many of their gains.
Only last year did their militants in Yemen’s branch of ISIS appear, launching a series of suicide attacks on all parties to Yemen’s tangled conflict. Many Arab countries tried to intervene in Yemen’s war; on top was Saudi Arabia and UAE, supporting the internationally recognized government, which had been swept into exile by Yemen’s Houthi movement, an ally of Iran.
There are fears by the mostly Gulf Arab military coalition of the Houthis to be acting as proxies for Tehran, something the group denies – and their fight has split Yemen’s army and enabled militant groups to carry out dozens of bombing and shootings.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS consider that the west controls the Arab coalition and believe that the Shi’ite Muslim Houthis are apostates deserving to be killed. Last week, the U.S. military announced deploying a small number of personnel to Yemen to help fight AQAP; which shall be its first troop presence in the country since the Houthi takeover, though its campaign of unmanned drone attacks on AQAP members continued unabated throughout the war.