Islamic-State-claims-responsibility-for-suicide-bombing-in-Yemen. AL MUKALLA , Yemen, A suicide bombing and battle Thursday killed at least 15 Yemeni soldiers and injured dozens more at a naval base near the port city of Al Mukalla, military sources said.
Officials said a car filled with explosives struck the gate of the base, followed by two more explosions at the city’s military headquarters. Clashes between government and rebel forces followed.
The Islamic State in Yemen took responsibility for the explosion at the naval base. Prior to Thursday’s battles, IS was not involved in attacks in the area, which was seized by al-Qaida in April 2015 and freed in April 2016 by Yemeni troops and a Saudi-led coalition conducting airstrikes. Last week the U.S. Department of Defense said a “very small number” of U.S. troops were deployed in the area to support the operation that reclaimed the city.
The attacks on Thursday came hours before a planned visit to Al Mukalla by Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Dagher.
Yemen, since 2014, has been the site of conflict between the army, loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and Shiite Houthi rebels who support former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The fighting temporarily forced the Yemeni government into exile, and United Nations-brokered peace talks in Kuwait have produced a shaky cease-fire, but no other results.
By Ed Adamczyk