News / Middle East

Car Bomb Detonates, Kills 26 as Yemen Swears in President

Yemen's newly elected President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi waves as he arrives to the Parliament in Sana'a, Yemen, February 25, 2012.
Yemen's newly elected President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi waves as he arrives to the Parliament in Sana'a, Yemen, February 25, 2012.

Al-Qaida is claiming responsibility for a suicide-bombing Saturday in the southern Yemeni port city of Mukalla, which left at least 26 people dead and at least 20 others wounded. The bombing came just hours after a speech by Yemen's new President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is originally from the south of the country.  

Witnesses say the suicide car-bomber broke through an outer barrier at a presidential compound in Mukalla blowing up himself and his vehicle, near a group of soldiers who were eating, causing dozens of casualties.

Al Arabiya TV reported that the car-bomber was from Saudi Arabia and belonged to al-Qaida. A caller told the Reuters news agency that the bombing was “retaliation” for the Yemeni army's alleged “crimes.” The attack against a prominent government building, and targeting government troops, came just hours after Yemen's new President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi had addressed the nation.

In his speech Mr. Hadi told parliament that fighting al-Qaida will be a major goal of his new administration.

He said the coming period requires a sincere dialogue, which will define the new leadership, based on the new constitution, embodying Yemen's national aspirations, and pushing the country from a traditional legitimacy to a new national legitimacy.

The new president stressed the continuation of the war against al-Qaida must be considered a religious and national duty, aiming at the return of the displaced to their homes and cities.

President Hadi, a former army general and vice president who hails from southern Yemen, replaced outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who came to power in 1978. Last weeks' presidential election, in which Mr. Hadi was the only candidate, took place in accordance with a Gulf Cooperation Council peace plan, signed last November.

That plan put an end to months of street protests, coupled with a tribal power struggle which ravaged parts of the capital Sana'a and left hundreds dead. Former President Saleh, who has just returned from a trip to the U.S. for medical treatment, told Yemenis that he was sorry for the months of conflict:

He said what's happened has happened, and he's sorry for it, calling the months of unrest part of an outside plot, and claiming that all the bloodshed was the result of the inflated egos of others.

Stephen Steinbeiser of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies notes that Yemenis often simplify the violence in their country by attributing it to “al Qaida,” but that the origins of the groups involved and the struggles they wage are usually very complicated. “One of the problems with Yemen right now is that there are all of these different types of groups and factions and roving gangs and there are these names thrown about, but it's unclear which groups have coalesced around which ideologies, or which people have coalesced into which groups," he said.

Steinbeiser notes that this upsurge of violence in southern Yemen is an “alarming development,” but points out that the southern separatist movement has until now distanced itself from such attacks, “because it's not in their interest to be violent.”

President Hadi will be officially inaugurated on Monday. He is expected to oversee a two-year political transition, which will also include parliamentary elections, a new constitution, and a re-organization of the military, which is still run by many Saleh loyalists, including his son and nephews.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs