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29 Aug, 2016 12:13

At least 60 dead in Yemeni suicide bombing, ISIS takes responsibility

At least sixty people have been killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a southern Yemeni militia compound in the town of Aden, a spokesman for security services told AFP. The Islamic State terror group has taken responsibility for the attack.

Sky News Arabia reports that 71 people have been killed, citing local medics. At least 67 were wounded in the explosion, director general of Yemen's health ministry in Aden, al-Khader Laswar said, as cited by Reuters. He put the death toll at 54.

A suicide bomber reportedly drove a car into a building being used by the Popular Resistance, a local militia supporting Sunni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is now in exile, witnesses told Reuters.

The explosion took place in front of “Sanafir” school in the Muammar Gaddafi neighborhood in the north of the city, which is named in honor of the former Libyan leader, AFP reported.

The terrorist act comes just a day after the Red Cross announced it would begin supplying Yemen with morgues to due to the growing death toll – something rare for the organization, which usually focuses on providing food, water, and healthcare.

The situation on the ground in Yemen has been dire for several years, and seven in 10 Yemenis are currently in need of emergency food aid, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network group.

The UN published a report last week saying that almost 3,800 civilians have been killed and over 6,500 injured in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began carrying out airstrikes there in March of 2015.

More than 3.1 million Yemenis have been displaced since the civil war broke out, and over 80 percent of the country’s population of 21 million people is presently in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Political commentator Marwa Osman told RT that the latest attack reflects the battle for the future of Yemen that is currently raging.

“It’s more of a gang problem, of who is going to take control now: Is it the rebels who are actually backed by Saudi Arabia, which is still bombing and killing people in Sanaa, or is it going to be ISIS, which is also backed by Saudi Arabia? Who is going to take control? This is the fight that is going on there.”

Yemen isn’t only torn by fighting between the government and the Houthis. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) are using the conflict there to gain ground, according to the latest UN report.

The two terrorist organizations are “undermining one another as they compete for recruits,” the report observed.