Islamic State suicide bomber kills 25 worshippers at mosque in rebel-held Yemeni capital

A suicide bomber struck a mosque in Yemen's rebel-held capital on Thursday, killing 25 worshippers during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The Yemen-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was targeting the country's Shiite rebels.

SANAA, Yemen — A suicide bomber struck a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital on Thursday, killing 25 worshippers during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The Yemen-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was targeting the country’s Shiite rebels.

The explosion, which also wounded dozens of worshippers, tore through the al-Bolayli mosque in the morning hours, according to Yemeni security officials. The mosque is located in an area where many residents support the Shiite rebels, also known as Houthis, who have controlled Sanaa since last September.

The IS affiliate’s claim of responsibility came in a statement circulated on Twitter by the Sunni militant group’s supporters. The Associated Press could not independently verify the authenticity of the claim. The statement said IS targeted the Shiite rebels, whom the Sunni extremists view as heretics.

The security officials said the suicide bomber placed an explosive device in his shoe, causing an initial explosion. As worshippers rushed to the door, he detonated himself in the middle of the crowd, they said. The officials, who remain neutral in the conflict that has splintered the country, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

There were puddles of blood and debris outside the mosque, whose ornate facade was damaged by the blast. Police and some Houthi fighters came to inspect the aftermath. Eid al-Adha is a major Muslim holiday, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice.

Yemen has been torn by a ferocious war pitting the Houthis and forces fighting for former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against fighters loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, as well as southern separatists, local militias and Sunni extremists.

The Islamic State affiliate in Yemen has claimed responsibility for a series of suicide bombings in Sanaa targeting Shiites in the past months. American officials initially expressed skepticism that the affiliate existed, as Yemen is also home to the world’s most dangerous al-Qaida offshoot.

Also Thursday, four children and an adult were killed when Houthis and their allies fired mortar shells into a residential neighbourhood in the city of Taiz, independent security officials and health officials said. At least 21 civilians were wounded, they said, also speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

The war in Yemen escalated in March when the Saudi-led coalition launched a campaign involving air strikes and ground troops against Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies. More than 2,100 civilians have been killed, according to U.N. estimates. The coalition recently has sought to retake rebel-held Sanaa.

The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Thursday’s mosque bombing and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, his spokesman said in a statement.

“Such attacks against places of worship, or civilians anywhere, cannot be justified by any cause,” Ban said.

Just Posted

Pet medical neglect cases on the rise in economically ailing Calgary

CALGARY — The Calgary Humane Society has seen a steady rise in… Continue reading

Man, woman found guilty in Calgary quadruple killing case

CALGARY — A Calgary jury found two people guilty Thursday in the… Continue reading

Ontario passes bill to join opioid class-action lawsuit launched by BC

TORONTO — Ontario is joining five other provinces in a class-action lawsuit… Continue reading

Red Deer Dream Centre opponents won’t appeal its approval

Red Deer’s subdivision and development appeal board approves project

Decision affirms power of courts to review the discipline of judges

OTTAWA — The authority of the Federal Court to review disciplinary measures… Continue reading

Drug bust: Red Deer RCMP seize drugs, cash, vehicles

Criminals are getting creative. Red Deer RCMP have seized cash and vehicles… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Gaudreau scores twice in Flames’ 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Maple Leafs

Flames 4 Leafs 2 CALGARY — Johnny Gaudreau had his first two-goal… Continue reading

Staal, Kunin help Wild recover to beat Oilers 6-5

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal with 4:47… Continue reading

Pet medical neglect cases on the rise in economically ailing Calgary

CALGARY — The Calgary Humane Society has seen a steady rise in… Continue reading

Man, woman found guilty in Calgary quadruple killing case

CALGARY — A Calgary jury found two people guilty Thursday in the… Continue reading

Ontario passes bill to join opioid class-action lawsuit launched by BC

TORONTO — Ontario is joining five other provinces in a class-action lawsuit… Continue reading

Scott Milanovich returns to CFL, named head coach of Edmonton Eskimos

EDMONTON — Scott Milanovich is returning to the CFL with the task… Continue reading

Decision affirms power of courts to review the discipline of judges

OTTAWA — The authority of the Federal Court to review disciplinary measures… Continue reading

Most Read