ISIS responsible for Houthi mosque bombing

ISIS claims responsibility for deadly attack on Houthi mosque in Yemen's capital Sanaa

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

According to a Twitter statement by ISIS, the group has claimed responsibility for the Moeed Mosque attack in Sanaa that killed at least five people on Monday night.

The mosque is within walking distance of the house of one of the most prominent Houthi leaders, Ihab al-Kuhlani.

It was not immediately clear if he was at home at the time of the attack and whether he was harmed by the bombing, which damaged the gate of his house.

ISIS said it was targeting a Houthi "den in their stronghold in the al-Jarraf neighbourhood in Sanaa."

"There was about four or five martyrs after the explosion as well as around four wounded," said Walid Al Sarmi, an eyewitness.

"A couple of bodies were torn apart from the explosion, they may have been the bodies of the bombers themselves."

At least eight people were wounded in the blast, including children, according to Yemen's Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

ISIS considers all Shiite groups to be "heretics," including Yemeni Houthis. Shiite mosques have repeatedly been targeted in Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia - the leading country in the Arab military coalition battling the Iran backed Houthis.

Saudi Arabia suffered major Shiite mosque bombings last month, killing and injuring dozens. Consequently the kingdom’s government escalated arrests, detaining over 400 suspects accused of being involved with the group, which controls large swathes of Iraq and war torn Syria.

In other news, six Houthis have reportedly been killed in a shootout at a checkpoint near the central bank in Sanaa and at least five others died after a car bomb that exploded near a police station in al-Hassaba district, north of Sanaa.

Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen started in March, when exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi called on Arab countries to help "save Yemen" after Houthi rebels overran the capital last September.

The UN has declared Yemen a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on the scale, after about 80 percent of the country’s population became in dire need of humanitarian aid.

Twenty million people in Yemen are in need of aid, with 13 million facing food shortages and 9.4 million having difficulties accessing drinking water.

TRTWorld and agencies