Eight killed in car bomb attack in Yemen

Sanaa, July 21 (IANS) At least eight people were killed here late Monday after a car bomb went off near the house of a Shiite Houthi leader, sources told Xinhua news agency.

The car bomb placed near the house of Houthi leader Abdul Karim al-Kuhlani in al-Jeraf quarter in Sanaa exploded when his convoy was coming out, killing al-Kuhlani and seven of his bodyguards, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

Witnesses told Xinhua that several others were wounded.

The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Twitter, saying “the attack was part of a series of operations in revenge for people against the Shiite rebels”.

It’s the fifth car bomb attack against the Shiite Houthi group since June in Sanaa by the IS. The security situation in Yemen has deteriorated since 2011 when mass protests forced former President Ali Abdullash Saleh to step down.

The reconciliation talks failed to resolve the crisis, but created a huge power vacuum for the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the IS to expand their influence in the country.

The Shiite Houthi group seized the capital Sanaa by force last September and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia in late March.

AQAP and the IS have intensified attacks against the Shiite Houthi group since the Houthis started to advance into the southern regions where the terrorist groups are active.

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