51 dead in Yemen after targeted missile strike and suicide bombings
Coordinated suicide bombings and a ballistic missile launched by rebels in Yemen at a military parade and police station killed at least 51 people Thursday, with dozens more wounded.
The medium-range missile, which killed at least 40, hit Aden’s neighborhood of Breiqa where military forces loyal to the United Arab Emirates held a parade at the pro-coalition al-Galaa camp.
It left scores of casualties, including military commanders, according to Iran-backed Houthi rebels’ website, Al-Masirah.
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Meanwhile, a car, a bus and three motorcycles charged with explosives detonated outside a police station during morning roll-call in the city’s Omar al-Mokhtar neighborhood. The explosion killed 11 and wounded at least 29; four suicide bombers were allegedly involved in the attack.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the police station bombing, but both Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch and an Islamic State affiliate have exploited the chaos of the country’s war between the Houthis and the government forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition.
Zakarya Ahmed, a police officer who was inside the three-story station at the time of the explosion, described the incident as “a disaster.”
“I felt myself flying in the air and falling down, hitting the floor,” Ahmed said. “When I got up on my feet, I saw bodies burning, others torn into pieces.”
An anonymous Yemeni health official stated that along with the 51 killed, an additional 56 were wounded from the attacks in Aden.
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Thursday’s attacks came just weeks after the UAE withdrew thousands of its troops from Yemen, totaling to about 50-75% of its forces pulled from the country and leaving behind what it said were some 90,000 trained local forces. They were allegedly the deadliest attacks in Aden since November 2017, when an ISIS affiliate targeted the city’s security headquarters, killing 15, mostly policemen.
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The UAE’s withdrawal came amid escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf between the United States and Iran, following Washington’s pullout from the nuclear deal with Tehran last year.
Fox News' Morgan Cheung and the Associated Press contributed to this report.