Middle East

Yemen conflict: 'Islamic State car-bomb' strikes Sanaa funeral

The wreckage of a car is seen at the site of a car bomb attack in the capital Sanaa on 29 June 2015. Image copyright AFP
Image caption A number of car bomb attacks have struck the Yemeni capital in recent months

The Islamic State (IS) militant group say its Yemeni affiliate carried out a car-bomb attack at a funeral attended by Shia Houthi rebels in the capital.

Dozens of people were injured, reports say. An unconfirmed report says many people were killed.

The blast happened near a military hospital in Sanaa on Monday night.

It is the latest attack by IS against Houthis in Yemen, where the Sunni extremist group declared its presence in November.

Houthis have been fighting forces loyal to Yemen's exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi for several months.

A Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes in March, claiming to target Houthi positions. The strikes have had a devastating impact on civilians.

In a separate development on Monday, the rebels said in a statement that they had launched a Scud missile across the border at a Saudi military base. They said the missile was fired "in response to the crimes of the brutal Saudi aggression".

If confirmed, it would be the second such attack since fighting began.

A Scud missile fired from Yemen earlier this month was shot down by Saudi Arabia before it could reach its target.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Yemeni civilians have bore the brunt of the fighting and air strikes in recent months

Monday's car-bomb attack appears to have targeted a funeral attended by two brothers who are leaders in the Shia Houthi rebel movement.

The number of casualties is unclear, with reports saying at least 28 were injured, including women and children.

IS posted a statement online saying its Yemeni affiliate was behind the attack. The group has carried out a number of attacks in the capital in recent weeks.

Separately on Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a full investigation after a Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a UN compound in the southern city of Aden on Sunday, injuring one guard.

Yemen has been in turmoil since Houthi rebels overran Sanaa last September, forcing President Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi to flee.

Three months ago, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia began targeting the rebels with air strikes. Since then, well over 2,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 1,400 civilians, according to the UN.

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