World Yemen capital Sanaa hit by car bomb attack

Yemen capital Sanaa hit by car bomb attack

A number of car bomb attacks have struck the Yemeni capital in recent months
A number of car bomb attacks have struck the Yemeni capital in recent months

A car bomb has exploded in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, causing an unknown number of casualties, officials say.

A number of Shia Houthi rebel leaders were believed to be the target of the blast, which struck a crowd of people attending a funeral.

The casualty figures are unclear. Reuters reports 28 wounded but AFP says the same number of people were killed.

Houthis have been fighting forces loyal to Yemen’s exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi for several months.

Saudi-led air strikes targeting Houthi positions, which launched in March, have had a devastating impact on civilians.

In a separate development on Monday, the rebels said in a statement they had launched a Scud missile across the border at a Saudi military base “in response to the crimes of the brutal Saudi aggression”.

If confirmed, it would be the second such attack since fighting began.

An attempt to send a Scud missile earlier this month was intercepted and shot down by Saudi Arabia before causing any damage.

Monday’s attack took place behind a military hospital in Sanaa.

AFP said it was targeting two Houthi rebel leaders, who are brothers, during a gathering of mourners at the funeral of a family member.

According to the news agency, eight women were among at least 28 fatalities. Reuters, however, said 28 people were injured in the blast, including 12 women.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group posted a statement online saying its affiliate group based in Sanaa was behind the attack. IS has carried out a number of attacks in the capital in recent weeks.

Separately on Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a full investigation after a Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a UN compound in the southern city of Aden on Sunday, injuring one guard.

Yemen has been in turmoil since Houthi rebels overran Sanaa last September, forcing the government of President Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi to flee.

Three months ago, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia began targeting the rebels with air strikes. Since then, more than 2,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 1,400 civilians, according to the UN.

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