Deadly suicide bombing hits Shiite mosque in Yemeni capital

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A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite mosque in the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sana’a during prayers marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Thursday, killing at least 10 and possibly as many as 25 worshippers, reports said.

Medical officials said the attack at the al-Balili Mosque in central Sana’a killed 25 worshippers and wounded dozens.

However, the Houthi Shiite rebels, who control Sana’a, said the attack left 10 dead and 22 wounded.

The radical Sunni Islamic State militia claimed responsibility for the bombing.

In an online statement circulated by its sympathizers, Islamic State identified the attacker by the jihadist nom de guerre Abu Omar al-Hudayadi, meaning the bomber hailed from Yemen’s western city of al-Hudayadah.

The statement could not be independently verified by dpa.

Islamic State, which regards Shiites as apostates has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past.

Thursday’s attack came two days after President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi returned to the strategic southern city of Aden after a six-month exile in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Footage on Yemeni TV stations showed Hadi, who is internationally recognized as Yemen’s president, along with members of his government performing the Eid prayers in Aden.

Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice is the most important occasion on the Islamic calendar.

Hadi’s loyalists, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, have in recent months dealt battleground setbacks to the Iran-backed Houthis in southern Yemen.

The Houthis still control large parts of the impoverished country, including Sana’a.

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