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ISIS Suicide Bomber Kills 54 After Targeting A School In Yemen

REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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An Islamic State suicide bomber killed 54 people and injured another 67 after driving an explosives-laden car into the school section of a militia compound in Yemen’s coastal city of Aden Monday.

ISIS took credit for the suicide bombing via its Amaq news agency shortly after the attack. The massive death toll represents one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Yemen since ISIS established a foothold in the war-torn country.

“Around 60 dead in a martyrdom operation by a fighter from Islamic State targeting a recruitment center in Aden city,” said the ISIS statement.

The bomber targeted a compound that housed a militia belonging to the Popular Committees, which are allied with Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Reuters reported that the recruits were in the school section of the compound eating breakfast when the deadly attack occurred. Witnesses claimed that the bomber entered the facility behind a truck carrying breakfast for the soldiers, who were lined up nearby.

Yemen has been embroiled in an 18-month long civil war between the Houthi movement and the internationally-recognized Hadi. The Houthis, which practice a form of Shia Islam, are supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran, whereas Hadi is supported by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition, making Yemen a practical proxy battleground for Iran and Saudi Arabia.

ISIS has a small presence in the country, but the terrorist group has been able to find success among the chaos, striking Hadi’s forces as well as his allies. The Yemeni president’s supporters have blamed former President Ali Abdullah Saleh of intentionally using Islamist groups like ISIS to target Hadi.

The accusation provoked a series of raids against anyone suspected of being engaged in the terrorist attacks. ISIS considers the Shia sect of Islam and its various derivatives to be heretical, while the group also considers the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a sworn enemy, making the group a strange third party in the ongoing bloody civil war.

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