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IS Suicide Bombers Kill Scores of Army Recruits in Yemen

  • VOA News

People check the site of a suicide bombing in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, May 23, 2016.

People check the site of a suicide bombing in the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, May 23, 2016.

Islamic State terrorists have claimed responsibility for a pair of suicide bombings outside an army recruiting center in Yemen’s southern city of Aden Monday that killed at least 45 people and wounded many others. Most of the victims were army recruits.

IS said in an online statement that one of its militants targeted “apostate soldiers” waiting outside an army recruitment center with an explosive belt.

That attack was quickly followed by a bomb that blew up outside the nearby Badr army base.

The attacks occurred as army recruits lined up to enlist for military service in the port city that has served as the temporary capital of Yemen’s Saudi-backed administration while it seeks to seize back the capital, Sana'a, from the armed Houthi group.

Yemeni forces regained control of Aden last year, but deadly attacks have become more common as the pro-government forces clash with local affiliates of IS and their rival group, al-Qaida.

Just last week, IS claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 31 police recruits in the southeastern port city of Mukalla.

Since March 2015, at least 6,200 people have been killed and nearly three million more displaced due to the chaos resulting from Yemen’s civil war.

Boys look through a hole made by a Saudi-led airstrike on a bridge in Sana'a, Yemen, March 23, 2016.

Boys look through a hole made by a Saudi-led airstrike on a bridge in Sana'a, Yemen, March 23, 2016.

Cluster bombs

Meanwhile the rights organization Amnesty International called on the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, fighting in Yemen, to end its use of cluster bombs.

The aid group reports that between July 2014 and April 2016, some 16 civilians were injured or killed by cluster munitions, including nine children.

"Unless action is taken, these cluster bombs and other explosive remnants of war will leave a deadly legacy in Yemen for years to come, posing a threat to civilian lives and wreaking havoc on the local economy," said Lama Fakih, Amnesty's Senior Crisis Advisor.

Amnesty says on a recent mission to north Yemen, it found evidence of cluster munitions, manufactured by the U.S., Britain and Brazil, being used by the Saudi-led forces.

It is calling on Saudi Arabia and other coalition members to provide the United Nations with the precise location and dates of cluster munition attacks to facilitate the clearing of areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance.

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