(SOURCE) Twin bombings claimed by the Islamic State group hit Yemeni forces in Aden on Monday, killing at least 41 people in the latest of a spate of attacks in the southern city.
The attacks in Aden — which is serving as the temporary government headquarters after rebels forced authorities from the capital — follow a major military operation against jihadists in parts of southern and southeastern Yemen.
Backed by a Saudi-led coalition, forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi are battling both Sunni extremists and Iran-backed Shiite rebels.
In the first attack, a suicide bomber killed 34 people queueing to enlist at a recruitment centre near the Badr base in Aden’s Khormaksar district, said Brigadier General Nasser al-Sarei, the commander of Yemen’s special security forces.
A subsequent explosion inside the base killed seven soldiers, he said.
In a statement posted online, IS said one of its fighters detonated an explosives belt among “apostate soldiers” at a recruitment centre, followed by the bombing at a gate of the Badr base.
The jihadist group, which has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, also claimed responsibility Monday for a wave of bombings in Syrian coastal cities that killed more than 100 people.
A local resident in Aden described the scene of the Badr explosions as “horrible”, saying body parts had been blown dozens of metres (yards) away.
“They came to complete the procedure of their recruitment and receive their first salary,” he said, speaking of the young men who had gathered outside the army centre.
Abandoned slippers and sandals, apparently from the victims, covered the area, television footage showed.
Aden resident Ramzi al-Fadhli said “wailing filled the air” as women identified the remains of relatives at Al-Jumhuriyah Hospital, where at least 32 bodies were taken.