AL MUKALLA, Yemen :A suicide bomber disguised as a disabled man blew himself up at a gathering of Yemeni security officers in the southern port of Aden on Sunday, killing 48 people and wounding dozens of others, Yemeni officials said.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, naming the attacker and publishing a photograph of him smiling with a rifle at his side and wearing an explosive vest.
The attack was the second this month to kill scores of security forces near a military base in Aden, highlighting the failure of the Yemeni government and its allies to ensure basic security in the areas they control.
Yemen has been mired in conflict since 2014, when rebels aligned with Iran, known as the Houthis, seized the capital, Sana. They later forced the internationally recognized government into exile in Saudi Arabia.
The country is now split, with the Houthis and army units allied with them controlling the northwest and a coalition of forces nominally loyal to Yemens president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, holding the south and the east.
Jihadists have taken advantage of the disorder to launch attacks in the south, where the Islamic State and the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda have a presence.
Sundays attack occurred as hundreds of members of the Yemeni security forces crowded outside the home of Nasser al-Anbouri, the commander of the Special Security Forces, near a military base in Aden, where they hoped to receive their salaries, said Ramzi al-Hassani, the commanders office manager.
The bomber was dressed in a police uniform and pretended to be disabled, infiltrating the crowd before detonating his explosive, Mr. Hassani said. The blast killed 48 people and wounded 84, according to Abdul-Nasser al-Wali, of the Yemeni Health Ministry.
The bombing occurred a little more than a week after a suicide bombing near the same base. That attack, on Dec. 10, targeted a gathering of soldiers, killing 57. The Islamic State also claimed that attack.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.