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Thu 24 Sep 2015 10:22 AM

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ISIL suicide attack kills 10 at Yemen Houthi mosque

Blasts targeted worshippers at Eid Al Adha prayers

ISIL suicide attack kills 10 at Yemen Houthi mosque
Image for illustrative purposes only

A double suicide bombing
killed at least 10 people on Thursday at a mosque run by Yemen's Houthi group
in the capital Sanaa, where worshippers were performing Muslim Eid Al Adha
prayers, medics and witnesses said.

ISIL's branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the
attack at Al Balili mosque, just outside the Old City of Sanaa, saying that
dozens of "rejectionists" were killed or wounded. The Sunni militant
group uses that term to describe Shi'ite Muslims it seems as heretics.

Medics said at least 36 other people were wounded. A
Houthi website gave a death toll of at least 10, while Arab media said it was
at least 25.

The Houthis, allies of Iran, seized Sanaa a year ago and
forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile in Saudi Arabia. Since
March, the Western-allied Saudis have led an Arab coalition trying to restore
Hadi to power and drive the Houthis back to their northern stronghold.

More than 4,500 people have been killed in the conflict,
which ISIL has exploited to expand its operations.

Witnesses described a twin suicide attack on the mosque,
where worshippers were celebrating Eid Al Adha, the feast of sacrifice.

Nayef, who lives nearby, said he heard one explosion
followed quickly by a second. "We gathered to rescue the wounded. The
situation is very painful and blood is everywhere."

The witnesses said the first blast shook the mosque soon
after worshippers gathered for prayers. A second suicide bomber detonated his
explosives belt when Houthi guards tried to stop him rushing deep inside the
mosque.

"We rushed outside and summoned the
ambulances," one witness said.

Houthi fighters sealed off the area and shouted at
onlookers to stay away.

It was the second attack in the capital this month to target
a mosque run by the Shi'ite Zaydi group. On Sept. 2, at least 28 people were
killed and 75 wounded in twin suicide bombings claimed by ISIL at a mosque in
northern Sanaa.

In March, ISIL suicide bombers killed at least 137
worshippers and wounded hundreds more in coordinated attacks at two mosques
during Friday prayers in Sanaa.

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