42 dead in Yemen suicide attacks claimed by ISIL

42 dead in Yemen suicide attacks claimed by ISIL

ADEN – Agence France-Presse
42 dead in Yemen suicide attacks claimed by ISIL

A handout picture released by Kuwait's ministry of information on June 27, 2016 shows United Nations special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (C-L) and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (C-R) posing for a picture following a meeting of the Yemeni Peace Talks with Yemeni delegations in Kuwait City. AFP photo

A wave of suicide bombings targeting Yemeni troops killed at least 42 people June 27 in the southeastern city of Mukalla, officials said, in attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The capital of Hadramawt province, Mukalla had been under the control of al-Qaeda for one year until pro-government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city in April.

But ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying in a statement that eight of its suicide bombers killed 50 members of Yemen’s security forces, according to U.S.-based monitor SITE Intelligence Group.

The governor of the vast province, Ahmed Saeed bin Breyk, told AFP previously that Mukalla had “witnessed five suicide attacks in four areas.”

Three simultaneous bombings hit security checkpoints in the coastal city at sunset, just as troops fasting during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan were breaking their fast, a security official said.

In the first attack, a suicide bomber on a motorbike asked soldiers if he could eat with them before blowing himself up, the official said.

Two other bombers approached soldiers on foot elsewhere in the city before detonating their explosives.
Shortly afterwards, two suicide bombers launched a fourth attack and blew themselves up at the entrance of an army camp, the official said.

In all, the attacks killed 42 soldiers as well as a woman and child who were passing by and wounded 37 other people, said Hadramawt’s health chief Riad al-Jalili.

Meanwhile, Yemeni security officials said June 28 that an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition targeting Shiite rebels in the southern province of Taez killed 25 people, of them 15 fighters and 10 civilians.