Yemen crisis: 55 dead in mosque bombings

Sanaa: Triple suicide bombings killed 55 people on Friday at mosques in the Yemeni capital attended by Shiite Huthi militiamen who have seized control of the city, medics said.

Dozens more were wounded. One bomb exploded inside Badr mosque in southern Sanaa, and was followed by another at the gate as worshippers fled, witnesses said.

Yemen crisis: 55 dead in mosque bombings Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, stand near a damaged car after a bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen

The third suicide bomber targeted Al-Hashahush mosque in northern Sanaa. The Huthi militia's Al-Massira television said hospitals in the capital had made urgent appeals for blood donations. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The attacks are the deadliest since a car bomb killed 40 people and wounded dozens more at a police academy in Sanaa in January as recruits lined up to register.

Yemen's top security body blamed Al-Qaeda for that blast although a leader of the jihadist network denied responsibility. The Huthis overran Sanaa in September and have since tightened their grip on power. Their attempts to extend their control into other areas have been met by deadly resistance from Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is regarded by the United States as the extremist network's deadliest branch Yemen, a front line in the US war on Al-Qaeda, has descended into chaos since the 2012 ouster of longtime strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been accused of backing the Huthis.

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi escaped Huthi house arrest in Sanaa last month and fled to the southern city of
Aden, where violence has erupted in recent days. A security official said today that a top Yemeni officer linked to the Huthis had escaped an assassination bid near Aden overnight.

Four people were killed in an ambush on the Lahj-Taiz road but General Abdel Hafedh al-Sakkaf, the special forces chief in Aden, escaped harmed, said the official from Lahj. He said the attack took place in Al-Athawir as Sakkaf fled Aden in a convoy to Lahj, on its way towards militia-held Sanaa. "He escaped the assassination bid but a bodyguard was shot dead, while three others died when their vehicle overturned," the official said.

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