At least 25 Shia worshippers were killed Thursday morning while performing Eid al-Adha prayers when a car bomb went off outside a mosque in capital Sanaa, according to eyewitnesses.
The attack happened on Thursday in the al-Balili mosque where Houthi Shia rebels who control Sana’a go to pray, according to witnesses and security officials.
The Yemen-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was targeting the rebels.
Security officials said the suicide bomber placed an explosive device in his shoe, causing an initial explosion. As worshippers rushed to the door, he detonated himself in the middle of the crowd, they said.
Yemen descended into chaos last September, when the Shia Houthi militia overran capital Sanaa.
In April, the Houthis also managed to capture Yemen’s southern Aden province, prompting President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi – along with most of his government – to flee to Saudi Arabia.
In March, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched an extensive air campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen, which eventually allowed pro-Hadi forces to retake most of Aden province.
Earlier this week, Hadi finally returned to Aden after six months in Saudi Arabia.
Images by Anadolu Agency.