Car bomb in Yemeni capital targets Houthi leaders

Car bomb in Yemeni capital targets Houthi leaders
Islamic State group said it was behind an attack on two Houthi leaders in Sanaa that killed at least 28 people, including eight women.
3 min read
30 June, 2015

Yemen bomb attack video

A car bomb claimed by Islamic State exploded in the Yemeni capital Sanaa overnight, medics said, wounding at least 28 people.

The car bomb targeted Houthi leaders, Faisal and Hamid Jayash during a gathering to mourn the death of a family member, a security source said.

In a statement posted online, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it had targeted the area "out of revenge for the Muslims against the Houthi apostates." 

The extremists claimed another deadly attack on Houthis earlier this month when a car bombs killed at least 31 people and injured dozens near mosques and the headquarters of the Houthi group in Sanaa.

Scud fired at Saudi base 

In a new sign that three months of war in Yemen was ratcheting up,  a Scud missile was fired at a Saudi military base on Tuesday.

A Saudi-led Arab military alliance has been bombing Yemen's Houthi rebels and their allies in the army to dislodge them from the capital and restore the exiled president.   

A  conflict has raged throughout Yemen's south and center, pitting the Houthis against local militiamen who support the Arab intervention.

The political vacuum has given hardline militants greater room to operate. They regard the Houthis as apostates, and the overnight blast was the latest in a series of attacks on the group and their supporters.   

"The explosion was caused by a car bomb behind the military hospital in the Shaoub district in Sanaa, which injured 28 people including 12 women in a building where victims of a previous attack were being mourned," a medical source said.   

Despite the months of Arab air strikes backing up the Houthis' armed opponents in Yemen, the Houthis have not lost ground on the battlefield and have stepped up their exchanges of artillery and rocket fire with Saudi forces along their border. 

Pro-Houthi Yemeni forces launched a Scud missile at a missile base in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Yemeni state news agency Saba quoted the military's spokesman as saying.

"The rocket units in our heroic armed forces today launched a Scud missile at the Al Sulayyil missile base in Riyadh province ... it comes as a response to the crimes of the brutal Saudi aggression," Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman said. 

Luqman said the attack hit the base, which is about 450 km (280 miles) south of the Saudi capital Riyadh, but a previous Scud launched by Yemen's pro Houthi forces earlier this month was shot down by Saudi patriot missiles despite rebels claims it struck its target.

Aden fighting

In the battleground southern port of Aden, Yemen's second city, fighting raged Tuesday between the rebels and their opponents.

A pregnant woman and two children were among 13 people killed over the past 48 hours, medics said. Another 216 people were wounded.

Oil tanks at the city's refinery were still ablaze after being hit by rebel fire on Saturday.

Saudi-led aircraft carried out 20 strikes in support of local forces opposed to the Houthis, a local official said.

On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an investigation after Saudi-led air strikes hit the UN Development Programme compound in the city, wounding a guard and causing serious damage.

Another local official accused the rebels of firing on a Qatari aid ship preventing it from docking in the city, which is in desperate need of relief supplies.