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Yemen: Islamic State Bombs Presidential Residence

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack aimed at the presidential residence in Aden, Yemen, on Thursday. Reports say that up to 11 people were killed in the blast and at least 20 wounded.

The suicide car bomber tried to crash through a security checkpoint and was fired upon by guards, according to a statement from the office of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Most of the dead were security troops, although CNN reports two schoolchildren were also killed, and a Yemeni general was in critical condition.

There are conflicting reports about whether Hadi was inside the residence when the attack occurred and whether he remains there, but all seem to agree he was not injured. The New York Times reports the target of the suicide bomber was apparently a convoy of senior officials who were approaching the presidential palace.

Hadi was forced to flee Yemen after Iran-backed Houthi rebels captured the capital of Sanaa in January 2015, and only returned from Saudi Arabia to supervise his government from Aden in November.

A Saudi-led coalition is assisting Hadi in his battle against the Houthis, conducting airstrikes against the insurgents. Reuters reports that “dozens of armored vehicles and troops from the United Arab Emirates arrived in Aden’s port on Wednesday” to assist with restoring order in the city.

The Islamic State, which has been battling its progenitors in al-Qaeda for dominance in Yemen, issued a statement claiming the suicide bomber was one of its fighters, referred to by the alias “Abu Hanifa al-Hollandi.” The surname would imply the bomber was a native of Holland.

“At least 32 government officials in Aden have been killed by militants over the last two months, including Aden’s former governor, who was assassinated in early December. ISIS and al Qaeda have claimed responsibility for most of those attacks,” CNN reports.

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