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Monday 21 August 2017

Carnage in Yemen as suicide bomb attacks on mosques leave 137 dead and 345 wounded

Suicide bombers in the Yemeni capital Sanaa blew themselves up during Friday prayers at two mosques used by supporters of Shi'ite rebels, killing 126 people and wounding 260, medical sources said, in the country's deadliest militant attack in years. Reuters
Suicide bombers in the Yemeni capital Sanaa blew themselves up during Friday prayers at two mosques used by supporters of Shi'ite rebels, killing 126 people and wounding 260, medical sources said, in the country's deadliest militant attack in years. Reuters
An injured girl reacts as she is carried by a man out of a mosque which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Sanaa. Photo: Reuters
A Houthi militant looks on after a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa March 20, 2015. At least 87 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, a medical source told Reuters. The source said at least 260 people were wounded in the blasts. Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Houthi militant walks after a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa March 20, 2015. At least 87 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, a medical source told Reuters. The source said at least 260 people were wounded in the blasts. Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi
A Houthi militant runs from a mosque where a suicide bomber blew himself up in Sanaa March 20, 2015. At least 87 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, a medical source told Reuters. The source said at least 260 people were wounded in the blasts. Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Houthi militants stand at the scene of a suicide bombing outside a mosque in Sanaa March 20, 2015. At least 87 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, a medical source told Reuters. The source said at least 260 people were wounded in the blasts. Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Blood is seen on the ground after a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa March 20, 2015. At least 87 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, a medical source told Reuters. The source said at least 260 people were wounded in the blasts. Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi
Crime scene investigators work after a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Sanaa March 20, 2015. At least 87 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa during Friday prayers, a medical source told Reuters. The source said at least 260 people were wounded in the blasts. Both mosques are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group which has seized control of the government. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

At least 137 people have been killed and 345 wounded in suicide attacks on mosques in Yemen, according to a Shiite TV channel.

Four suicide bombers hit a pair of mosques controlled by Shiite rebels in the capital Sanaa, unleashing blasts through crowds of worshippers, according to medical officials.

The bombers attacked the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques, located across town from each other, during midday prayers, yesterday, the most crowded time of the week, according to the state news agency.

While both mosques are controlled by Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, they are frequented by Sunni worshippers as well.

A group claiming to be a Yemeni branch of the Islamic State group said it carried out the bombings.

The group posted an online statement saying that five suicide bombers carried out what it described as a "blessed operation" against the "dens of the Shiites".

The claim offered no proof of an IS role. It was posted on the same website on which the IS affiliate in Libya claimed Wednesday's attack on a museum in Tunisia.

The Yemeni rebel-owned Al-Masirah TV channel said hospitals were urging citizens to donate blood. It also reported that a fifth suicide bomb attack on another mosque was foiled in the northern city of Saada, a Houthi stronghold.

Two suicide bombers attacked the Badr mosque. The first was caught by militia guards searching worshippers at the entrance and detonated his device at the outside gates. Amid the ensuing panic, a second bomber entered the mosque and blew himself up amid the crowds, according to the official news agency SABA.

shattered

Survivors compared the explosions to an earthquake, and said some of those who survived the original blasts were then injured by shattered glass falling from the mosque's large hanging chandeliers.

Another pair of suicide bombers attacked the al-Hashoosh mosque, according to the state news agency. One witness from that attack said he was thrown two metres by one of the blasts.

"The heads, legs and arms of the dead people were scattered on the floor of the mosque," Mohammed al-Ansi said, adding: "Blood was running like a river."

The television channel aired footage from inside the al-Hashoosh mosque, where screaming volunteers were using blankets to carry away victims. The dead included a small child, and corpses were lined up on the mosque floor and carried away in pick-up trucks.

hnews@herald.ie

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