ISIL has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that left up to 49 Yemeni soldiers dead at a military base in Aden, a week after a similar attack that also killed dozens of troops in the southern port city.
Military officials and medics told the AFP news agency early on Sunday that the suicide bomber detonated his explosives as a group of soldiers were gathering to collect their salaries at the al-Solban base in the city’s northeast.
Aden al-Ghad, a local news website, said several people were wounded in the blast as thousands of men queued up at the entrance of the base.
Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) have exploited the war to carry out assassinations and bombings, mostly in lawless southern Yemeni areas nominally controlled by the government.
Bombings and shootings in the region have been increasingly targeting officials and security forces in recent months.
Sunday’s attack happened just eight days after another bombing claimed by ISIL, killed 48 soldiers and wounded 29 others.
In a statement posted via its Amaq news agency, ISIL said Sunday’s attacker, who it identified as Abu Hashem al-Radfani, detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd of soldiers.
Armed groups have gained ground in the south of the country since forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi – backed by an Arab coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia – drove the Houthi fighters out of Aden in July last year.
Since then, the government and the Arab coalition have struggled to enforce their control, as ISIL and al-Qaeda use the security vacuum to carry out attacks.
At least 10,000 people have been killed in the 20-month conflict, which has prompted a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country, according to the UN.