Suicide bomber kills 50 Yemeni soldiers

Yemeni rescue workers and security officials gather at the site of a bomb blast that killed 23 soldiers in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, on Dec 10, 2016.
Yemeni rescue workers and security officials gather at the site of a bomb blast that killed 23 soldiers in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, on Dec 10, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

ADEN • A suicide bomber killed at least 50 Yemeni soldiers at a base in the city of Aden on Saturday, a local security official said.

The bombing was another major attack claimed by terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on forces allied to a Saudi-led military coalition.

The attacker blew himself up as troops were waiting to collect their salaries, government sources added, wounding around 70 others as they lined up at the entrance to the Sawlaban base on the outskirts of the city.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a message posted online.

The Yemeni branch of the terror group based in Iraq and Syria has carried out many deadly bombings on troops in the southern port city, which is under the control of the internationally recognised government in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015 to fight the government's enemies in the Iran-allied Houthi movement, but have failed to dislodge the group from the capital Sanaa despite thousands of air strikes.

Houthi forces were pushed out of Aden and much of Yemen's south last summer, but the government and coalition troops have struggled to enforce their control as Al-Qaeda and ISIS militants use the security vacuum to carry out attacks.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the 20-month conflict, which has unleashed a humanitarian crisis on the impoverished country.

"A suicide bomber sneaked in among the soldiers who were standing in line and blew himself up," local journalist Mansour Saleh said in a telephone interview. "This is not the first time this base was attacked."

The bombing came days after Yemen's internationally recognised President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi returned to Aden after spending months outside Yemen, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Suicide bomber kills 50 Yemeni soldiers'. Print Edition | Subscribe