Huge Car Bomb Kills Yemen Governor; ISIS Takes Credit

Warns "infidels" it will conduct "operations to chop off their rotten heads'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 6, 2015 6:33 AM CST
People inspect the wreckage of a truck in this file photo of a bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

(Newser) – A huge explosion killed the governor of Yemen's southern Aden province and at least six of his bodyguards on Sunday in an attack that was later claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate. Gov. Gaafar Mohamed Saad was traveling to his office when the explosion struck his convoy, in what the Wall Street Journal calls "one of the most brazen and deadliest attacks in Aden" since a Saudi-led coalition ousted Houthi rebels in July. Authorities are investigating the exact cause of the explosion. An ISIS affiliate claimed the attack in a statement circulated online by supporters, saying the bomb was concealed in a parked car along the convoy's route. The group referred to Saad as a "tyrant" and warned the "heads of the infidels" in Yemen that it would carry out "operations to chop off their rotten heads."

ISIS has claimed a series of bombings that killed 159 people and wounded 345 this year in Yemen, according to an AP count. The extremists have been able to expand their reach in the chaos of Yemen's larger conflict, between a loose array of pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition and Shiite Houthi rebels, who control the capital, Sanaa, and large parts of northern Yemen. A local al-Qaeda affiliate has exploited the chaos to seize territory in Yemen's south and east, and has a growing presence in Aden. On Saturday, masked gunmen in Aden killed a military intelligence official and a judge known for sentencing al-Qaeda militants. No one claimed those attacks.

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