UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Yemen: Diplomats

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday on violence-wracked Yemen, diplomats said, after United States troops were evacuated from a key airbase.

The meeting will take place at the request of embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, amid spiraling violence, after several suicide bombings at Shi'ite Huthi mosques claimed by the Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) killed 142 people on Friday.

By claiming its first attack in Yemen, ISIS is seeking to exploit the chaos gripping the country where rival Al-Qaeda has traditionally been the dominant militant movement. The Huthis have vowed revenge.

Accusing the Huthis of importing Teheran's ideology, Mr Hadi meanwhile lashed out at the Iran-backed militia.

The Huthis belong to the Zaidi offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. They are believed to have converted to Twelver Shi'ism, which is followed by Iran, but insist that Teheran does not meddle in Yemeni affairs.

Yemen has acknowledged that American personnel gathering intelligence for drone strikes targeting Al-Qaeda are deployed at Al-Anad airbase.

The country is on the brink of civil war, with a deepening political impasse and an increasingly explicit territorial division along sectarian lines, amid rising violence between Huthi militia and Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda.