CAIRO, EGYPT —
Arab media are reporting more than 30 people were killed and 40 others were wounded when a car bomb exploded near a police college in the Yemeni capital Sana'a.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, but suspicions are focused on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Ambulances ferried victims of the bombing to nearby hospitals, while rescue workers sifted through mutilated bodies to see who was still alive. Passersby also combed through the wreckage of burned vehicles and picked through personal items strewn on the pavement.
The explosion, targeting police recruits, tore through a crowd of young men standing outside the police academy early Wednesday.
One young man who was in the vicinity of the explosion, explained what he saw.
He said he heard a violent explosion and then rushed to the scene of the blast, where students had been waiting to enter the police academy.
Chief of police in the Yemeni capital, General Abdel Razaq Mowayed, said stringent security measures had been put in place just a day earlier, in order to prevent such attacks.
He said suicide bombers were able to blow themselves up despite the heavy security procedures. He insisted orders were given to prevent students from entering through the gates of the building, in order to avoid large gatherings of people near the compound.
The Houthi militia group, which controls the Yemeni capital Sana'a and other chunks of the country, issued a statement condemning the attack. It called the blast an “ugly, criminal act” and vowed to punish “those who committed it, those who support them, and those who finance their operations.”
Yemen Post newspaper Editor-in-Chief Hakim Almasmari tod VOA a series of sectarian attacks aimed at the Houthi rebels have raised tensions in Yemen and many people believed al-Qaida was responsible.
"Sectarian violence is on the rise in Yemen after these attacks - the last four attacks - targeted Houthi Shi'ite militants. Al-Qaida vowed months ago that they would target the Houthi militants since they entered Sunni dominated areas and oppressed Sunnis. So, this is a war between two extreme groups. Both are armed and Yemenis in general will pay the price for these two armed militants' clashes," he said.
Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for a number of other recent attacks in the capital and elsewhere, aimed at Houthi militiamen.