30 Killed, 50 Injured in Yemen Car Bombing

30 Killed, 50 Injured  in Yemen Car Bombing30 Killed, 50 Injured  in Yemen Car Bombing

About 30 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a car blast outside a police college in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, officials say.

The vehicle exploded beside dozens of cadets and people standing in line to enroll at the academy. Some unconfirmed reports said it was a suicide attack, BBC reported.

Afterwards, body parts and debris from the car were strewn across the street. There has so far been no claim of responsibility, but an offshoot of al-Qaeda has carried out similar attacks.

Yemen has experienced a wave of violence in recent months, with militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) battling Houthi rebels who have taken control of the capital.

Wednesday’s bombing took place early in the morning in a central part of Sanaa near the central bank and the defense ministry building.

“We were all gathering and... [the car] exploded right next to all of the police college classmates,” Jamil al-Khaleedi said. “It went off among all of them.”

A paramedic at the scene also described the situation as catastrophic. “We arrived to find bodies piled on top of each other.”

  Bloody Scene

Ambulances were transporting casualties away from the scene of the blast, and bodies were seen lying in the street, witnesses said. The explosion was heard across the city and a large plume of smoke was visible in the area of the college.

Photographs purporting to show the aftermath of the explosion, distributed on social media, showed the mangled wreckage of a vehicle and bloodied people lying prone on a pavement.

  Repeated Attacks

Yemeni security forces personnel have been targeted many times by AQAP in the past four years. A suicide bomber killed more than 90 people in 2012 at a military parade in the capital and an assault on a military hospital a year ago left more than 50 dead.

The militant group has exploited the chaos and instability that has resulted from the uprising that forced longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2011.

Western and Gulf Arab countries fear that further instability could weaken the country’s government, giving AQAP more space to plot attacks outside Yemen’s borders. Yemenshares a long border with oil giant Saudi Arabia.

His successor, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, has ordered a series of military offensives on AQAP strongholds, but its members have been able to withdraw to remote, mountainous regions where they are protected by local tribes wary of the government.

President Hadi has also been weakened by the Houthi group from the northern province of Saada, who triggered a political crisis in September when they overran security forces in the capital and forced him to form technocratic government and reverse unpopular subsidy cuts.

Houthi forces were supposed to withdraw from Sanaa, but they have instead expanded their presence in central and western Yemen, triggering fierce clashes with AQAP and tribesmen.

Last week, a suicide bomb attack on Houthi supporters in Ibb left as many as 49 people dead.