Saa, January 7: At least 50 people were killed and dozens of others wounded early Wednesday when a car bomb went off outside the police academy in Yemen’s capital Saa, security officials and medics said. Hundreds of soldiers from the interior ministry were lining up in a long queue, waiting to be enlisted in the academy, around 7 a.m. when the explosion took place, security officials said, adding that at least 50 people were killed at the scene. Witnesses told Xinhua that a mini–bus was being driven very fast on the street along the wall of the police academy in central Saa before it exploded at the academy’s main gate. The explosion could be heard across the city. Gunshots were also heard in the area after the explosion.
“The explosion occurred around 7 in the morning. A bus came to the gate of the academy and a man blew it up here. More than 50 people were killed in attack,” a cadet of the police academy, bil Ali, said.
Ambulances were crowded and police forces cordoned off the whole area where dozens of bodies were scattered. Medics said about 100 people were sent to three hospitals near the police academy, many of them in critical condition. The toll could rise in hours.
This is the most deadly attack in Saa since October 9, 2014, when an Al Qaeda suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of the Shia Houthi group, killing at least 47 people. On June 11, 2012, an Al Qaeda suicide bomber attacked this police academy, killing at least 21 people. The security situation in the impoverished Arab country has worsened since the Shia militia took control of Saa on September 21, 2014, by force.
The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), known locally as Ansar al–Sharia, has conducted several bomb attacks against the Houthi group, the government and the army, killing scores of people since 2009.
On Monday, an explosive device went off at an office of the Shia Houthi group in western Saa, wounding two people and damaging nearby houses. (IANS)