Suicide bomber kills at least 96 soldiers in Yemen; al-Qaida claims responsibility

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

On Monday, a suicide bomber posing as a member of the Yemeni military killed at least 96 people and wounded hundreds more—most if not all soldiers—in a blast in Sanaa, Yemen's capital.

The soldiers were rehearsing for a military parade in Sabeen Square near the presidential palace, Yemeni officials said. According to Agence France-Press, the bomber, carrying explosives under his uniform, "blew himself up in the middle of an army battalion." As many as 300 wounded soldiers were being treated at seven area hospitals, AFP said.

An al-Qaida source claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the BBC.

"This is a real massacre," one soldier, Ahmed Sobhi, told the Associated Press. "There are piles of torn body parts, limbs and heads. This is unbelievable."

According to CNN, top Yemen officials, including the country's defense minister, were at the scene but escaped unharmed. CNN said 101 soldiers were killed in the blast.

The parade was to be part of a National Day of Unification celebration marking the 22nd anniversary of the May 22, 1990, union of North and South Yemen.

According to AFP, it's unclear if Tuesday's parade will take place as planned.

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