Massacre in Yemen: Suicide Bombers Slaughter 137, Wound Hundreds as They Prayed at Mosques [+video]

Photo Credit: The Blaze

Photo Credit: The Blaze

Quadruple suicide bombers on Friday hit a pair of mosques controlled by Shiite rebels in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, unleashing blasts through crowds of worshippers that killed at least 137 people and wounded around 350 others in the deadliest violence to hit the fragile war-torn nation in decades.

A group claiming to be a Yemeni branch of the Islamic State group said it carried out the bombings and warned of an “upcoming flood” of attacks against the rebels, known as Houthis, who have taken over the capital and much of Yemen. The claim, posted online, could not immediately be independently confirmed and offered no proof of an Islamic State role.

If true, Friday’s bombing would be the first major attack by IS supporters in Yemen and an ominous sign that the influence of the group that holds much of Iraq and Syria has spread to this chaotic nation. The claim was posted on the same web bulletin board where the Islamic State affiliate in Libya claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s deadly attack on a museum in Tunisia.

A significant presence of Islamic State group supporters would add an alarming new element to the turmoil in this fragmenting nation. Yemen is already home to the most powerful branch of the al-Qaida network – which is a rival of IS. On Friday, al-Qaida militants seized control of a southern provincial capital, al-Houta, in the group’s most dramatic grab of territory by the group in years.

Meanwhile, the Shiite rebels’ capture of the capital and a large swath of the country – at least nine of its 21 provinces – has raised fears of a civil war tinged with sectarianism. The government of the internationally backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has fled to the southern port city of Aden, where it battled on Thursday with supporters of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has allied with the Houthis. (Read more from “Massacre in Yemen: Suicide Bombers Slaughter 137 as They Prayed at Mosques [+video]” HERE)

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