Yemen bomb attack kills four, injures 25 others

Published January 5th, 2015 - 12:15 GMT

A bomb explosion in Yemen on Sunday killed at least four people including a reporter and wounded 25 others, officials said.

The bombing targeted Houthis, in Dhamar which the group controls, a security official said.

Saba, the official news agency, reported that three members of the popular committees, a local police force created by Houthis, and a reporter lost their lives in the blast.

The journalist was identified as Khaled al-Washli, who worked for al-Masirah television channel.

Al-Masirah confirmed Washli's death on its Facebook page.

Saba said that members of the popular committees discovered the bomb at one of their buildings in Dhamar but it exploded as they tried to defuse it.

On Thursday, almost 50 people were killed when a suicide bomber dressed as a woman targeted Houthis commemorating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in central Yemen.

Houthis as well as members of the security forces in Yemen are often the targets of attacks by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is active in several Yemeni provinces, mainly in the south and southeast.

The ongoing crisis in Yemen has raised concerns that the country, next to oil-rich Saudi Arabia and key shipping routes from the Suez Canal to the Gulf, could become a failed state along the lines of Somalia, as it struggles to recover following the ousting of veteran autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh in February 2012.

During the pro-democracy unrest, the military split between forces loyal to Saleh and those backing General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, an Islamist-leaning general who had backed the uprising and went on to become a military adviser to current President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Corruption, internal splits and competing loyalties in the army began before Saleh was ousted and are now reaching a critical stage. The rift weakened the army and contributed to the rise of AQAP militants.

The northern-based Houthis established themselves as power brokers in Yemen by capturing Sanaa last September against scant resistance from the administration of Hadi, who appears not to have a full grip on the country's fractious military.

They easily took over Dhamar, south of Sanaa, but have met fierce resistance elsewhere from AQAP and tribesmen.

AQAP reacting to the loss of its strongholds to Houthi fighters, has accused its opponents of acting as a proxy for both the United States and Iran threatened renewed violence against them.

AQAP was born out of a 2009 merger of its franchises in al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden's native Saudi Arabia and his ancestral homeland in Yemen.


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