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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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 Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
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.

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