Sombre Yemen parade after attack

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iol pic wld Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi

REUTERS

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi waves from behind a bullet-proof glass shield as he watches a parade marking the 22nd anniversary of Yemen's reunification in Sanaa.

Yemeni soldiers marched in a National Day parade watched by the president from behind a bullet-proof glass shield on Tuesday, one day after a suicide bomber killed more than 90 of their colleagues in an attack on the rehearsal.

A sombre mood hung over the event, meant to celebrate the 1990 unification of north and south Yemen, but it finished without any repeat of Monday's bloodshed.

The bombing, one of the deadliest in Yemen in recent years, underscored the dangers Yemen faces as it battles Islamists linked to al-Qaeda and heightened US concerns over a country in the front line of its global war on militants.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its affiliate Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) both claimed responsibility.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and senior civilian and military officials watched the parade, which was moved from the scene of the attack at Sabaeen Square to the grounds of the air force academy in Sanaa, under heavy protection.

Hadi, who took over after former President Ali Abdullah Saleh handed over power in November following months of protests against his 33-year rule, told victims' families on Monday that the fight against al-Qaeda would carry on undaunted.

“The war on terrorism will continue until it is uprooted and annihilated completely, regardless of the sacrifices,” Hadi said, according to the state news agency.

Security was stepped across the city and dozens of police patrols were stationed at street intersections. Few people ventured out, partly due to the national holiday and partly by fear of more attacks.

The huge explosion, carried out by a man in a military uniform in the middle of the tightly-packed parade rehearsal, killed more than 90 people and wounded at least 200, according to the Defence Ministry. - Reuters


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