The explosion injured 35 people, including women and children, the Houthi-run Defense Ministry says
ISIS has claimed responsibility for a number of bombings in Sanaa in June
ISIS has claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Yemen’s capital city, Sanaa, on Monday night, according to a statement posted on social media, in the latest violence to erupt in the strife-torn country.
The explosion injured 35 people, among them women and children, according to the Houthi-run Defense Ministry. Two people were critically injured.
Yemen military spokesman Sharaf Luqman said the blast, which went off behind Sanaa’s Military Hospital, apparently targeted a group of mourners.
ISIS, a Sunni extremist group, has already claimed responsibility for a number of bombings in Sanaa this month.
Yemen has for months been torn by fighting between the rebel Houthi Shiite militiamen and government forces loyal to President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, who fled Sanaa in March as the Houthis seized control of the city.
Shia-majority Iran has been accused of backing the Houthi rebels – something it denies. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has launched airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in a bid to counteract what it sees as Iranian influence in the region.
Scud missile claim
On Monday, Yemen’s Houthi-led government claimed it fired a scud missile on Saudi Arabia, targeting the Al Sulayyil military base located about halfway between Saudi Arabia’s southern border with Yemen and the Saudi city of Riyadh.
Yemen’s acting President Mohammed Al Houthi told CNN: “The scud missile attack comes as Saudi continues to kill innocent civilians on an hourly basis in Yemen. Our military is reacting and that is why the war has reached deep inside Saudi territory.”
Saudi Arabia has not verified or even commented on any attack inside its borders, nor are there any images to bolster the claims by the Houthi-led government at this time.
The base purportedly targeted by the missile lies more than 250 miles from Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen. If confirmed, this would be the furthest into Saudi territory that any missile fired by Yemen has traveled in the current conflict.
Yemen’s port city of Aden has been under Houthi fire in recent days, according to officials.
U.N. warns of humanitarian catastrophe
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned last week of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” in Yemen, where more than 1 million people have been forced from their homes by the conflict.
“The collapse of basic services and extreme shortages of food and fuel have had a devastating impact across the whole country. More than 21 million people – that’s 80% of the population – now need humanitarian assistance,” OCHA head Stephen O’Brien told reporters.
“Health facilities report that over 2,800 people have been killed and 13,000 injured since the violence escalated in March. At least 1,400 civilians have lost their lives, and these numbers are likely to be significant underestimates.”
O’Brien accused the warring parties of showing “an utter disregard for human life, repeatedly attacking civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools, power stations and water installations,” and called for an urgent ceasefire to allow aid to reach those in need.
Journalist Hakim Almasmari reported from Sanaa and Samira Said from Atlanta, while Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. CNN’s Richard Roth contributed to this report.