Yemen: Islamic State bombing kills scores of police cadets

Yemen: Islamic State bombing kills scores of police cadets
A suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group on Sunday has left at least 37 police recruits dead and dozens others wounded in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla.
3 min read
15 May, 2016

Yemen bomb kills 37 police

At least 37 police recruits were killed and 60 others wounded on Sunday in a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, medics said.

The bomber blew himself up as he joined a line of men returning to work at a police base in Fuwah district following last month's recapture of the port city after a year of al-Qaeda rule, a provincial official said.

The victims also included young men applying for jobs with the city's local police.

Hadramawt's security chief, General Mubarak al-Oubthani, who was at the recruitment centre at the time of the attack but was not hurt, was the target of a second bombing when he headed to the centre of Mukalla afterwards, a security official said.

The bomb went off as Oubthani walked out of his office killing six of his guards but leaving him with only minor injuries, the official said.

In a message on its online news agency Amaq, IS said the attacker was a "martrydom-seeker" who had detonated his explosive belt.

"Brother Abu al-Bara al-Ansari... detonated his explosives belt at a gathering of the apostates of the security forces," the statement said.

The attack comes only three days after another deadly blast claimed by IS targeted a military checkpoint near the Mukalla port, leaving seven recruits dead and 11 wounded.

More than 13 months of conflict in Yemen has allowed terror groups such as IS and al-Qaeda to flourish across the country, with particular focus on the southern region where several areas are under AQAP control.

Terror attacks have been frequent with dozens of police officers and military personnel being killed by militants who accuse the government of "apostasy".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab countries intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015 in support of the internationally recognised government, which had been forced into exile by the Iran-backed Houthi movement.

Last week, the United States said that "a very small number" of American soldiers who were also involved in operations in Yemen.

'Slow progress'

In his latest update on the Yemeni peace talks currently underway in Kuwait, the United Nations Yemen envoy said that the two delegations - Yemen's government and Houthi rebels - had reached consensus on some issues.

"Progress is being achieved, albeit at a relatively slow pace," said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

On Tuesday, the two delegations agreed to free half of the prisoners and detainees held by both sides within 20 days.

There has been mounting international pressure to end the Yemen conflict, which the United Nations estimates has killed more than 6,400 people and displaced 2.8 million since March last year.

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Agencies contributed to this report.