ISIS claims Yemen mosque attack, 28 killed

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SANAA: A suicide bombing of a mosque claimed by the ISIS group killed at least 28 people in the Yemeni capital Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions ahead of the first White House summit between the US and regional power Saudi Arabia.

The bombing, the latest in a wave of killings claimed by the militant group, came hours after the Red Cross said a gunman killed two of its Yemeni employees in the war-torn country’s rebel-held north in a “deliberate” attack.

ISIS said a man identified as Qusai al Sanaani blew himself up after sunset prayers inside the al Muayad mosque in the northern Jarraf district, home to many senior figures from the Shia Ansarullah movement that control Sanaa.

The militants said a bomb-laden vehicle parked nearby also exploded as medics arrived on the scene, bringing the death toll to at least 28 people and wounding some 75 more, according to medical officials.

An AFP reporter heard two loud explosions followed by many sirens as ambulances rushed to the scene.

Body parts were blown several metres (yards) away from the scene and nearby buildings were damaged, witnesses said, adding that fighters were deployed after the attack to set up new checkpoints across the capital.

US President Barack Obama is expected to raise the campaign at the first, long-delayed White House summit with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Friday, particularly concerns over the impact the bombing has had on civilians.

Already 80 percent of Yemen’s population of 26 million are in desperate need of aid, and nearly 1.5 million have been driven from their homes in the five-month war.

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