96 People killed in a suicide blast in Yemen: nurses
Monday, May 21, 2012
A Yemeni soldier packing high explosives under his uniform blew himself up amid an army battalion in Sanaa Monday, killing 96 soldiers and wounding about 300, a military official and doctors.
The suicide attack was the deadliest in the capital since the newly elected President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi pledged to oust al Qaeda from Yemen's most lawless and restive southern and eastern provinces.
"There are at least 50 dead and the toll could rise," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that all the victims were soldiers.
So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the blast, which witnesses said was heard throughout the city, causing panic among residents.
The bomber detonated his explosives identified as soldiers in government forces security center, commanded by a nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated during a military parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Unification of North and South Yemen, the official said.
Yemen Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, was present at the time of the explosion but escaped unharmed, the official added.
Witnesses said human remains were scattered across the site of the explosion to Sabeen Square Sanaa, the Yemeni government which is often large military parades.
An AFP correspondent dozens of ambulances rushed to evacuate the dead and wounded, security forces have cordoned off the area.
Monday's attack was the deadliest since Sanaa Hadi took office in February with a commitment to fight against the growing presence of al Qaeda in the county.
Hadi, who was elected in a vote only candidate as stipulated by the agreement of the Gulf-sponsored transition that forced the ouster of Saleh, was scheduled to give a speech at the military ceremony scheduled for Tuesday .
It remains unclear whether the parade will take place as planned.
The suicide attack is 10 days in a massive military offensive against al Qaeda in Yemen restive southern province of Abyan, where the jihadists took control of a string of towns and villages in attacks since May last year.
Since the offensive began, 213 people were killed, according to a statement drawn up by the AFP, including 147 fighters of Al Qaeda, 31 personnel, 18 local militiamen and 17 civilians.
The offensive followed days after the White House announced that a plot of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to blow up a U.S. airliner was foiled.
One senior U.S. official told the New York Times that a bomb attack would have been sewn into "custom fit" underwear that would have been difficult to detect, even in a careful palpation at the airport.
He said an undercover officer spent weeks with AQAP before giving information to the U.S. to launch a drone attack, on May 6 that killed Fahd al-Quso, a senior official of the attack would 2000 of the USS Cole in Yemen.
Name Quso thought a list of the FBI's most wanted terrorists, with a reward of up to $ 5 million for information leading to his arrest.