Over a hundred people were killed by multiple suicide attacks that targeted two mosques in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, while hundreds more were injured. The blasts at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques in the centre of the city occurred during Friday noon prayers. Leading Houthi religious leader and the Imam of the Badr mosque Al-Murtada bin Zayd al-Muhatwari was killed in the coordinated bombings, while other senior Houthi leaders were seriously wounded. The Houthis ascribe to the Zaidi sect of Shia Islam, and have held de facto control of the government in Sana'a since the beginning of the year. Houthis account for approximately one-third of Yemen's population.
A group claiming to be a Yemeni branch of ISIS independently claimed responsibility for the bombings on associated Twitter accounts.
If the bombings are verified as perpetrated by ISIS, it would mark the first such attack by the group within Yemen to date.
Mohammad al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi's political bureau blamed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for the attacks, however, an official within the group denied responsibility. The official referred to earlier statements from AQAP that prohibited striking against mosques. AQAP, arguably the most powerful 'franchise' of al-Qaeda at present, controls territory in several governorates in northwestern Yemen and has battled both de jure government forces and Houthi rebels for years.
Tensions remain high between the Houthi rebels and ousted President Abed Mansour Hadi, who rescinded his earlier resignation made when the capital was overtaken. Hadi and his supporters still claim they are the legitimate authority in the country, but are currently based out of the port city of Aden. The previous day, Hadi loyalists clashed with rival militias, resulting in the deaths of 13 and the closure of the Aden international airport.