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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora