Yemen Mosque Bombing Kills 25 During Holiday Prayers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Yemen Mosque Bombing Kills 25 During Holiday Prayers

Posted: Sep 25, 2015 at 3:57 am   /   by   /   comments (2)

A suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group targeting Shiite rebels at a mosque in Yemen’s capital Thursday killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens more during holiday prayers.

Sanaa, seized by the Iran-backed Huthi insurgents a year ago, has been shaken by a string of bombings in recent months by IS, a radical Sunni organisation which considers Shiites to be heretics.

Thursday’s blast ripped through the Balili mosque, located near a police academy, where the rebels and their supporters go to pray, witnesses said.

It came as Muslims marked Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar.

Witnesses said that after a first blast inside the mosque, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt at the entrance as worshippers rushed out.

The perpetrators hid explosives inside shoes and clothing to get past searches introduced at the entrance after the previous attacks, according to the mosque’s head of security, Adnane Khaled.

“We found a shoe bomb and explosives hidden in underwear and abandoned in the toilet,” he said, adding that two devices had failed to detonate while a third had exploded inside the shrine, causing panic.

“As the crowd rushed to leave the prayer room, a suicide bomber tried to force his way into the mosque,” said Khaled. “He was stopped at the entrance by a security officer and blew himself up.”

Blood stains and debris were seen on the floor of the mosque after the blast, while Huthi rebels inspected the damage.

In an online statement, IS said one of its members wearing a suicide belt had struck “Huthi infidels”.

IS, which controls swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, has repeatedly targeted Shiites in Yemen’s capital and elsewhere.

Bomb attacks targeting several Shiite mosques in Sanaa on March 21 killed 142 people, with IS also claiming attacks on mosques in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The Huthis seized the capital of Sunni-majority Yemen in September 2014 and expanded their grip to other parts of the country.

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