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AFP

Deadly suicide attack targets Yemen Shia rebels

The Houthi advance into Ibb has seen resistance from local tribes and AQAP [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 31 December, 2014

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A suicide bomber has struck a religious celebration organised by the Houthi movement in the central city of Ibb in Yemen killing and injuring dozens of people.

At least 33 people were killed by a suicide bomber in central Yemen on Wednesday when he detonated his explosives at a celebration held by supporters of the Houthi movement, medics said.

Dozens of people were also wounded in the attack in the mainly Sunni - but Houthi controlled - city of Ibb, the medics said, warning that the death toll was likely to rise.

Among the wounded was Ibb Governor Yahya al-Aryani, who was attending the Houthis' commemoration of the Prophet Muhammed's birthday, a medic said.

Security sources said another bomb was discovered at the entrance to the event's venue.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of the armed group, had pledged to fight the Houthis, who overran the capital Sanaa unopposed in September and have since advanced into other, mainly Sunni districts, including Ibb.

AQAP military chief Qassim al-Raymi vowed in November to carry out fierce attacks against the Zaydi Shia militia.

The Houthis, who launched an on-off rebellion in the mainly Zaydi Shia northern highlands in 2004, have taken advantage of mounting instability to advance far beyond their traditional strongholds.

AQAP leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi has accused the Houthis of collaborating with the United States and Iran to destroy Sunni Muslims.

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