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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More