Death toll rises to 65 in Yemen’s suicide bombing

ADEN, Yemen — The death toll of a suicide bombing that targeted an army recruiting compound in Aden on Monday morning rose to 65 killed and 55 injured, according to Yemeni officials.

A source at Aden’s Police Command confirmed that dozens of injured army recruits were in critical condition.

The medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres said earlier on its Twitter account that its hospital in Aden received 45 dead and at least 60 wounded from the morning explosion.

An Aden-based security source said that a suicide bomber slammed his explosives-laden car into a gathering of army recruits near a school in Aden’s Mansourah neighborhood.

The source said that the explosion took place at the school courtyard where hundreds of army recruits gathered.

The targeted army recruits were joining a pro-government force that will be moved toward the Saudi border, according to the source.

Directors of two public hospitals in Aden, where dozens of bodies were transferred, told Xinhua earlier that the death toll stood at 28 and that more than 30 others were injured.

On Sunday, high-ranking pro-government officials confirmed to Xinhua that they were planning to recruit and train more than 5,000 young fighters from the government-controlled southern provinces to join the fighting with the Saudi Border Guard Forces against Houthi rebels.

Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional al-Qaida insurgencies in the Middle East.

The AQAP, also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, emerged in January 2009. It had claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on Yemen’s army and government institutions.

Militant extremists took advantage of the current security vacuum and the ongoing civil war to expand its influence and seize more territories in southern Yemen.

Security in Yemen has deteriorated since March 2015, when war broke out between the Shiite Houthi group, supported by former President Ali Abdullash Saleh, and the government backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.

More than 6,400 people have been killed in ground battles and airstrikes since then, half of them civilians. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com