Sana: A wave of suicide bombings targeting Yemeni troops killed at least 35 people Monday in the southeastern city of Mukalla, which Al-Qaeda was driven out of in April, officials said. The capital of Hadramawt province, Mukalla had been under the control of Al-Qaeda for one year before pro-government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city.
The Sunni Muslim extremists retain a strong presence in Mukalla, however, and they still control several towns in the interior valley of Wadi Hadramawt.
“Mukalla witnessed five suicide attacks in four areas,” the governor of the vast province, Ahmed Saeed bin Breyk, told AFP.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 33 soldiers as well as a woman and child who were passing by and wounded 25 other people, said Hadramawt’s health chief Riad al-Jalili.