Islamic State attack on army recruits in Yemen kills 54

Source: The Washington Post

A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives Monday in a mustering area for army recruits in the port city of Aden in southern Yemen, killing at least 54 people, according to the Health Ministry.

The attack, one of the worst suicide bombings to hit this country, took place in the al-Sanafer neighborhood and was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group through its Amaq news agency.

The Health Ministry in Aden told the Reuters news agency that in addition to the dead, 67 people were wounded.

Many of the wounded were treated at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders just a mile from the blast site. The humanitarian group said it had received 45 bodies.

“Around 8:15 [a.m.], we heard a great explosion that shook the building of our hospital, and we came to know that it occurred at a military camp,” said the group’s communication officer in Aden, Malak Shaher, adding that the injuries ranged from critical to minor.

The chairman of Yemen’s Center for Human Rights Studies, Mohammed Qasem Noman, said it was difficult to pin down the toll because the wounded were going to different hospitals around the city.

“The explosion took place at a local government school where new recruits were signing up to join the military,” he said.

Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, has been wracked by a multi-sided battle pitting government forces against Shiite Houthi rebels in the north.

Extremist Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, have taken advantage of the fighting to gain territory and launch attacks on both sides.

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