A massive suicide car bombing in the southern Yemeni city of Aden has killed at least 71 people, with the death toll continuing to rise, marking the single deadliest attack in the country, Saudi airstrikes notwithstanding, in over a year.
The ISIS car bomber attacked a crowded army recruitment center in the southern city, which is the temporary capital city of the pro-Saudi half of Yemen. The bomber drove into a crowd of recruits and broad the roof down on a large number of them.
The recruits, which made up the overwhelming majority of the casualties, were signing up to be deployed abroad to Djibouti and Eritrea for military, before eventually being redeployed back to the Saudi border to fight Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis.
Interestingly, while the massive bombing caused a shockwave that shattered windows across the area, including several large nearby apartment buildings, and while it caused some injuries from glass cuts, it didn’t appear to cause much panic, with locals saying they’re used to the regular bombings in the city.
In the lead-up to today’s attack, the pro-Saudi forces have been conducting aggressive arrests of suspected ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members around the city, with a growing number of raids leading to mass detentions. It is clear, however, that both factions retain the capacity to conduct such attacks.