At least 70 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bomb attack in Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa.
The attacker, who was dressed in military uniform, blew himself up in the middle of a battalion of soldiers as they were rehearsing in al-Sabin Square for a parade to mark the 22nd anniversary of the 1990 unification of Yemen’s north and south, according to Sky News.
Yemen’s new president Abdrabuh Masur Hadi, who took power in February pledging to battle the Al Qaeda-linked militants who have seized control over vast swathes of the country, is due to attend Tuesday’s National Unity Day celebrations, according to the BBC.
Most of the casualties were from the Central Security Organisation - a paramilitary force commanded by Yahya Saleh, a nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. An Al Qaeda source told the BBC one of its members had carried out the attack.
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Monday’s attack comes 10 days after government forces launched a major offensive against Islamist militants in the restive southern province of Abyan, where insurgents have taken control of a number of towns and cities.
At least 33 militants and 19 government soldiers were reported to have been killed in clashes in the town of Jaar over the weekend.
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