Yemen Cultural Center Under Attack Before New Year
At least 30 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a cultural center in central Yemen.
According to media reports, the bloody incident took place when students were celebrating the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday in the city of Ibb.
The celebration was organized by the Houthis, a dominant Muslim group in the city.
Bomber Disguised As Guest
The bomber disguised himself as one of the guests in the cultural center. Then suddenly, the bomber detonated his suicide belt at the back of the hall.
The number of those wounded reached more than 50. The special dignitaries, particularly local government officials escaped unharmed. But, the director of the culture department suffered serious injuries.
Who Is To Blame?
Today, no one claimed responsibility for attack. But many speculated al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) may have perpetrated the bloody attack. The group is known to operate in Yemen, and their hatred for Shi’ite muslims is not undeniable.
Tensions and violence have escalated in Yemen since the Houthis captured the capital Sanaa in September last year and expanded south and west.
US Condemns The Attack
In a press statement, Director Jeff Rathke for the U.S. Bureau of Public Affairs said the United States strongly condemns today’s suicide attacks against a peaceful local gathering in Ibb, Yemen.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in the attack.” – Mr. Rathke
The US pledged that it will continue to stand with the Government of Yemen and the Yemeni people to counter the shared threat posed by violent extremists.
Houthi Rebels Against Yemeni Forces
At least 120 people were killed in the latest clashes between Yemeni government forces and between Shi’ite Muslim Houthi rebels in northern Yemen in July last year.
According to media reports, around 100 Houthi rebels and 20 Yemeni government soldiers were in a fierce battle.
The Yemeni forces used warplanes to attack the positions held by the rebels near the provincial capital of Amran.
The fighting ended on Monday evening after a ceasefire was agreed.
The Houthis have been launching uprisings over the past 10 years. The rebels are earnestly fighting for autonomy in northern Yemen.
Earlier this year, the rebels attacked Amran and left 150 civilians dead.