Published On: Mon, May 21st, 2012

Yemen targeted by terrorists on the eve of Yemen’s national day

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Reports of mass casualties in attack apparently targeting soldiers in centre of capital on eve of Yemen’s national day.

Dozens of casualties are reported in a suicide bombing in the centre of the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Officials said a bomber dressed in military uniform targeted soldiers rehearsing for a parade to mark Yemen’s national day.

Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson, reporting live from Sanaa, said that the death toll was high.

“We are hearing reports that up to 50 people were killed and many more injured,” Ferguson said. “The death toll is likely to rise far above that though, since the attack was in middle of a huge group of soldiers.”

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is scheduled to attend Tuesday’s parade marking the 22nd anniversary of the unification of north and south Yemen.

Yemeni government soldiers are waging a fierce campaign in th country’s south against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters who have taken advantage of political instability to gain territory.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for Monday’s blast but our correspondent said it appeared to have been intended to send a signal to the government and the military.

“If they were targeting high profile guests, like the president, at the parade, then they would have attacked tomorrow,” she said.

“This was a message to the authorities that they are willing and able to strike at the heart of the military and that nobody here is safe.”

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