People gather at the scene of a blast which struck a military graduation parade in the town of al-Dhalea, Yemen December 29,…
People gather at the scene of a blast which struck a military graduation parade in the town of al-Dhalea, Yemen, Dec. 29, 2019.

CAIRO - A rocket attack on a southern Yemeni separatist militia graduation ceremony has left around 10 people dead and more than several dozen wounded.

A spokesman for the militia, which is aligned with the Saudi-led coalition, is claiming that Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthis were behind the attack.

Newly recruited soldiers are pictured before a blast struck their parade in the town of al-Dhalea, Yemen, Dec. 29, 2019.

Survivors helped victims of the rocket attack as rescue workers evacuated the wounded to ambulances, taking them to hospitals in the southern Yemeni capital of Aden.

Amateur video showed a crater where rockets struck near a viewing stand at the ceremony for cadets of the southern separatist "Security Belt" forces. A similar attack in August by Yemen's Houthi militia forces killed the group's top commander Gen. Munir Mahmoud al-Mashali.

Majed al-Shouaiby, a spokesman for the "Security Belt" forces, told Arab media that the Houthis fired rockets at the military parade from a position north of the town of Dhalea, where the attack took place.

The Houthis have not claimed responsibility for the attack, as yet.

The southern separatist "Security Belt" forces, which are trained by the United Arab Emirates, control the strategically important town of Dhalea, 140 kilometers north of Aden, along the main highway from Aden to the Houthi-controlled capital of Sanaa.

Col. Abdou al-Majali, a spokesman for forces loyal to Saudi-backed Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, also accused the Houthis of responsibility for the attack.

He claims that the Houthis are fighting their opponents from the air (using rockets and drones) because they have been unable to score any military victories using their forces on the ground.

Yemen's southern separatists, targeted in Sunday's attack, have been fighting the Houthis alongside other forces loyal to President Hadi. The separatists, who are seeking independence for southern Yemen, clashed with other forces loyal to Hadi in Aden this past summer summer.

 

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