IS claims suicide blast near Aden presidential palace

January 29, 2016 7:30 am 

ADEN, Yemen, Jan. 29 — The Yemen-based affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack against the Presidential Palace in the southern port city of Aden on Thursday, in which nine soldiers were killed and several others injured.

The IS branch in Yemen released a short statement on social media indicating that "a fighter from Netherlands" carried out the bombing in Aden.

"About 10 soldiers of the Presidential Guard Forces were killed, including senior officers and more than 20 others injured during the jihadist operation," the statement said.

The IS threatened to carry out more violent attacks targeting Yemen's internationally recognized President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government.

Yemeni experts and observers said it's the first time the Yemen-based branch has used a Westerner from a foreign country to carry out attacks in Yemen.

Earlier on Thursday, a security official told Xinhua that an explosives-laden car struck a military checkpoint near the outer gate of the Presidential Palace in Aden's neighborhood of Cirater, killing about nine soldiers and injuring several others.

Thursday's attack happened just one day after Prime Minister Khaled Bahah held an urgent meeting with local chiefs of Yemen's armed forces and commanders of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan in Aden to discuss the security situation in the province.

The attack against the Presidential Palace is the latest in a spate of violence and assassinations against pro-government officials in Aden, Yemen's temporary capital.

The turbulent and complicated security situation in Aden and neighboring southern provinces of Lahj and Abyan is one of the biggest challenges for the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces operating in Aden.

The coalition has dispatched thousands of soldiers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Sudan and Bahrain into five anti-Houthi southern provinces to support and train local Yemeni security forces. (PNA/Xinhua)

/EBP

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