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IS suicide bomb kills 54 army recruits in Yemen

By Ahmed Al-Haj

At least 54 pro-government recruits have died in a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group in Yemen’s southern city of Aden, officials said.

The recruits were signing up to join a new unit the Saudis hope will ultimately be made up of 5,000 fighters.

The men were at a staging area near two schools and a mosque when a pick-up truck suddenly accelerated through the building’s gate as a food delivery arrived, exploding amid the crowd, said witnesses.

“Bodies and body parts are scattered all over the place,” said Mohammed Osman, a neighbour who rushed to the scene.

“It was a massacre,” he said.

The death toll steadily rose yesterday and by mid-afternoon, the director of Aden’s health ministry, Khidra Lasour, said 54 had died. Almost 70 people were wounded, 30 seriously, and were being treated in area hospitals.

Security officials identified the bomber as one Ahmed Seif.

Aid group Doctors Without Borders reported on social media that their hospital in Aden had received 45 dead.

The IS-run Aamaq news agency said the attack was carried out “by a fighter from the Islamic State who targeted a recruitment centre.”

Site security was lax, said Ahmed al-Fatih, who had worked there. “There was no consideration of security,” he said.

Yemen is embroiled in a civil war pitting the internationally-recognised government and a Saudi-led coalition against the Shiite Houthi rebels, who are allied with army units loyal to a former president.

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