Suicide bombings in Yemen kill at least 50 people

Shiite Houthi rebels carry a wounded man at the scene of a suicide attack in Sanaa October 9, 2014.

Shiite Houthi rebels carry a wounded man at the scene of a suicide attack in Sanaa October 9, 2014.

Yemeni officials say two suicide bombings – one in the capital, Sanaa, the other in the country’s south – have killed at least 50 people, the Associated Press reported.

Security and hospital officials say 30 people died when a suicide bomber set off his explosives in central Sanaa on Thursday morning, targeting a gathering of supporters of the rebel Shiite Houthi movement that recently overran the city.

Medics at nearby Police Hospital sent urgent calls for doctors to help cope with a high number of casualties.

Policemen guarding a local bank near the scene said a man apparently wearing a suicide belt approached the Houthi checkpoint. “He then exploded amidst the (Houthi) security and ordinary people near by,” the policemen told Reuters.

The second bombing took place at the outskirts of the southern city of Mukalla, where a suicide car bomber rammed his car against a security outpost, killing at least 20 soldiers.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the incident appears to mirror previous bombings carried out by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

In a related story, Yemen’s newly appointed prime minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak has turned down his nomination following strong opposition by Shiite rebels who overran Sanaa on Sep. 21, state media said Thursday.

President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has accepted Bin Mubarak’s “request to be relieved” of forming a new government which is stipulated by a U.N.-brokered peace deal, Saba state news agency said.

Bin Mubarak took this decision “in a bid to preserve the national unity and protect the country from divisions,” Saba said citing a letter sent by the PM-designate to Hadi.

The Houthi rebels, officially known as Ansarullah, have agreed to cancel protests that they had earlier pledged to stage on Thursday, Saba said.

An aide to Hadi accused the rebels of rejecting the decision because “they do not want to keep their commitments” under the peace deal.

 
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