The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), a Sunni group, has claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Yemen’s capital Sanaa near the Qiba al-Mahdi mosque used by Shiite Houthi rebels, reports Reuters, citing witnesses and a security source.
ISIS “Said in a statement published on militant Twitter accounts that the attack was targeting the Houthi militia, whose fighters have used the mosque, located in the old city of Sanaa,” notes the article.
“On Wednesday the Sunni Muslim jihadist group claimed responsibility for four car bombs that detonated near mosques used by the Houthis and the group’s headquarters in Sanaa, killing two and injuring around 60 people,” it continues.
The Houthis, who have taken over the Yemeni capital, are considered “heretics” by ISIS, according to Reuters.
A Saudi Arabia-led coalition has been launching airstrikes against the Houthis in Yemen, who are part of the Shiite Zaydi sect. Saudi Arabia and the United States have accused Shiite powerhouse Iran of providing military support to the Houthis. Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional enemy, has denied those accusations.
“U.N. sponsored talks in Geneva between Yemen’s warring parties ended on Friday without a deal,” reports Reuters.
On the ground in Yemen, military units loyal to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh have allied themselves with the Houthis and are fighting armed groups affiliated with Yemen’s internationally recognized President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The Houthis and their allies are also fighting southern separatists, tribal factions, and other political groups, notes Reuters.
President Hadi has been forced into exile in Saudi Arabia by the Houthis.