Suicide bombing kills 60 at Yemen army camp


ADEN : A suicide car bomb attack on an army training camp in Yemen’s second city of Aden killed at least 60 people on Monday, medical sources said.
A security official told that the attacker drove his vehicle into a gathering of new recruits at the camp in northern Aden.
The assault killed 60 people and wounded 29 others, medical sources from the three hospitals where the victims were taken told
Security officials had provided an earlier toll of 11 dead.
The port city, the temporary base of Yemen’s Gulf-backed government, has seen a wave of bombings and shootings targeting officials and security forces.
Attacks in Aden are often claimed by militants from either Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group, which have both taken advantage of the chaos in Yemen to make gains in southern and southeastern regions.
But no group claimed immediate responsibility for Monday’s attack.
Yemeni authorities have trained hundreds of soldiers in Aden over the past two months to as part of operations to retake neighbouring southern provinces from militants.
Earlier this month, Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition entered Abyan’s provincial capital Zinjibar.
Troops retook other towns across Abyan but have been met by fierce resistance in key Al-Qaeda stronghold, Al-Mahfid, a town which lies further east, security sources said.
The militants are still present in areas surrounding the recaptured towns and control large parts of the neighbouring Shabwa province, the sources say.
The Arab coalition which backs the Yemeni government against Iran-backed rebels has also been providing troops with air cover throughout their war against the militants.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March last year and has helped government troops push the rebels out of Aden and four other southern provinces.
But authorities have been struggling to secure these provinces.
More than 6,600 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Yemen since March 2015 and more than 80 percent of the population has been left in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.
A training camp, or compound used by the pro-government Popular Resistance militia, was hit, reports say.
So-called Islamic State said it carried out the attack.
It comes amid a fresh push to end Yemen’s 17-month-old war between Saudi-backed government and rebels that the UN says has left 6,600 people dead.
Some 2.5 million Yemenis have also been displaced
IS’s self-styled news agency Amaq said the group had carried out Monday’s attack.
Other reports to news agencies from medical sources have put the death toll higher – between 45 and 60.
Meanwhile, the government and rebels have responded positively to a new Gulf-backed initiative to end the conflict.
The plan, announced last week by the US, calls for the withdrawal of Shia Houthi rebels from the capital, Sanaa, and talks on forming a unity government.
The rebels said they were prepared to restart negotiations, provided the Saudi-led coalition stopped attacking and laying siege to territories held by them.
The latest round of peace talks in Kuwait collapsed earlier this month.
The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes in Yemen since March 2015 in support of the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
The campaign began after the Houthi rebels, backed by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, took over parts of the country, including Sanaa, forcing the government into exile.
The government and its allies have since retaken Aden. Saudi Arabia says the Houthis are supported financially and militarily by its regional rival Iran – something Tehran denies.