ISIS claims responsibility in Yemen attack that killed 49

Yemenis gathering at the site of a suicide bombing at al-Sawlaba base in Aden on Dec 18, 2016.
Yemenis gathering at the site of a suicide bombing at al-Sawlaba base in Aden on Dec 18, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

ADEN/CAIRO (REUTERS) – The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Sunday (Dec 18) that killed up to 49 Yemeni soldiers in the southern port city of Aden, the group said in a statement.  

ISIS said more than 70 "apostates" were killed in the attack carried out by a suicide bomber the militant group identified as Abu Hashem al-Radfani.

The bomber killed at least 49 soldiers in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, officials there said, a week after another attack by ISIS killed 50 troops nearby.

The officials said the soldiers were queuing to collect salaries near a military base in the Khor Maksar district when the attacker blew himself up. At least 60 other troops were wounded, they said.

Aden is the temporary capital of Yemen’s internationally recognised government-in-exile in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. The administration has struggled to establish its control in the city as militants have launched dozens of attacks against its forces.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS  have exploited nearly two years of war in the impoverished country to carry out assassinations and bombings, mostly in lawless southern Yemeni areas nominally controlled by the government.

Saudi Arabia and its allies in a mostly Gulf Arab military coalition have been bombing Yemen’s dominant Houthi movement in parts of the country under its control since it drove the government from power in March 2015. They have failed to dislodge the group from the capital, Sanaa.